From Progress VA:
Hundreds from Across Virginia Rally in Support of Medicaid Expansion
Richmond, Virginia—Hundreds of Virginians from across the Commonwealth came to Richmond Thursday morning. They gathered to demand that legislators pass a budget with clean Medicaid expansion so that nearly 400,000 Virginians can see a doctor when they get sick without worrying about devastating financial consequences down the road. Standing in the rain, they were joined by Governor Ralph Northam and several people who would benefit from Medicaid expansion who shared their stories.
“No family should be one illness away from financial demise,” Governor Ralph Northam said when he joined the group. “Healthcare is a right. It is not a privilege, it is a right.”
“I’m asking for Medicaid expansion, not as a Republican or a Democrat, but as a mother with a son who needs health care,” Donna Cywinski said. “Medicaid expansion is a people issue. It is a family issue. It is an empathy issue. So we’re asking our legislators to pass Medicaid expansion now.”
“The time is now to listen to the 83% of Virginians who support Medicaid expansion,” said Karen Legato, Executive Director of Health Brigade. “The time is now to ensure that the Commonwealth is pro-health and pro-people.”
“400,000 hardworking Virginians could get the health care they so desperately need. All that needs to happen is for our legislators to pass a clean Medicaid expansion package, and they could do that today,” David Broder, President of SEIU 512, said.
“I don’t see my doctor as much as I should. I only get healthcare when I am in crisis. Medicaid expansion would change that for me and 400,000 others,” Pat White, Homecare Chapter Chair, said. “Medical care is not a luxury. It is a right.”
“I see people every day who can’t afford the care they need,” Dr. Paul Stromberg said. “I had to send someone home with pneumonia without medication because they couldn’t afford care. That’s not right.”
Everyone should have the opportunity to work hard and live with dignity. No one should have to choose between seeing a doctor when they need to and paying the rent. The House of Delegates’ Medicaid expansion proposal saves $371 million and allows the state to invest in other funding priorities including increased teacher pay and funding for local schools.