By Thomasine Wilson, a Richmond-based home care provider, a mother and grandmother, and the proud Home Care Vice Chair of SEIU Virginia 512.
As legislators return to Richmond today to finish their work on the state budget, I have a simple message for them: Expand Medicaid now!
My name is Thomasine Wilson. I’m a proud union home care provider and I serve as the Home Care Vice-Chair for SEIU Virginia 512.
I’ve worked as a home care provider for 17 years. During that time, I’ve helped some 20 older adults and people with disabilities lead active, healthy lives at home and in the community.
I love what I do because I love helping people be independent. But I don’t love that tens of thousands of Virginia home care workers like me don’t have employer-based health care.
To make matters worse, I’m one of the 400,000 Virginians who fall in the coverage gap, not qualifying for subsidies to purchase healthcare through the ACA. That means I’m not able to see a doctor for check-ups or get preventative screenings.
Medicaid Expansion would be a life-changer. In fact, for me, it could be a life-saver.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer. At that time, I was lucky enough to have had a job that offered healthcare. That healthcare saved my life.
I’ve been cancer-free for 5 years now. But I’m scared about the cancer coming back and not having healthcare to treat it.
No one should have to live with the fear of not being able to see a doctor or not being able to get the cancer screenings we need.
That’s why I’ve been working with my union sisters and brothers and our allies to mobilize voters to make their voices heard for Medicaid Expansion. We’ve held weekly phonebanks and canvasses, vigils and rallies, and more.
Last week, SEIU partnered with Planned Parenthood, NARAL, New Virginia Majority, Progress VA and VCET, along with Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegates Debra Rodman and Schuyler VanValkenberg, to talk to Senator Sturtevant’s and Senator Dunnavant’s constituents. Delegate Rodman and I talked to voters on the doors who desperately want the Senate to join the House in passing Medicaid Expansion.
So, as the General Assembly returns to Richmond today, I’m asking you to join me in calling your State Senator and asking them to pass Medicaid Expansion now!
Dial toll-free 1-844-252-3720 to be connected to your State Senator.
On behalf of the 400,000 Virginians whose lives hang in the balance, I say thank you.