New Story Book Shows Faces of Virginia’s Coverage Gap

Click to download a PDF of the story book.

One of the most hotly debated issues in health care for several years has been Virginia’s refusal to expand its Medicaid program, which would allow more working families to have access to health care. As a result of this inaction, hundreds of thousands of low-income adults fall into a coverage gap. With income below the poverty line, they are too poor to qualify for subsidized insurance from the federal Marketplace, but they make too much money to qualify for Virginia’s current Medicaid program.

If Virginia lawmakers close this coverage gap, nearly 400,000 Virginians across the Commonwealth could get access to quality, affordable health insurance.

These are real people. With real lives. They live in every community across the state. And each person in the coverage gap has a story to tell.

Click here to read six of them.

What’s It Going to Take?

From the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis:

Last week, Louisiana’s new governor signed an executive order to close the coverage gap for the 292,000 low-income residents of his state who have waited two years for their state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

With this action by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana joins 30 states and the District of Columbia – including 10 with Republican governors – in the common-sense decision to close the coverage gap.

By closing the gap, these states are seeing historic gains in coverage and will continue to reap the benefits as their residents get the health care they need to work, take care of their children, and be productive members of their communities without having to worry about an illness bankrupting them.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, 400,000 people across the state are still waiting.

Lawmakers again have the opportunity to close the coverage gap and have the federal government pay 100 percent of the cost through the end of this year.

They have, again, the opportunity to help those in their communities who often have to choose between life-saving medical treatments and bankruptcy.

They have, again, the opportunity to help people who work in some of the most important sectors of Virginia’s economy, including tourism, retail, and construction, but who don’t have and can’t afford health insurance.

They have, again, the opportunity to save millions of taxpayer dollars by using federal money to pay for health care services the state currently covers.

With a growing number of states having closed their coverage gaps, a fresh proposal in front of them this legislative session, and mounting evidence that it not only increases the number of people with insurance, but also saves money, lawmakers are out of excuses.

- See more at: http://thehalfsheet.org/#sthash.lmvtl4Je.dpuf

HAV Advocacy Day – January 27, 2016

Make your voice heard this General Assembly session! 

The Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition’s Legislative Advocacy Day is on Wednesday, January 27 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No previous advocacy experience needed. Your personal perspective and passion about providing quality, affordable health care for all Virginians and closing the coverage gap are all you need to help make a difference.

MORE INFORMATION

RSVP HERE

Public Budget Hearings 2016

PUBLIC HEARINGS NOTICE
GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED 2016-2018 BIENNIAL STATE BUDGET

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS AND SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEES OF THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL HOLD REGIONAL PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED 2016-2018 BIENNIAL STATE BUDGET, AS FOLLOWS:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2016

(Hearings begin at 10:00 a.m.)

  • Fredericksburg – University of Mary Washington, University Center, Chandler Ballroom
  • Wytheville – Wytheville Community College, Grayson Hall, Snyder Auditorium

  THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2016

(Hearings begin at 12:00 noon)

  •  Chesapeake – Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake Campus, Student Center Multipurpose Room
  •  Central Virginia – City of Richmond, General Assembly Building, House Room D

The purpose of the hearings is to receive comments on the Governor’s proposed amendments to the 2016-18 biennial state budget.  Those persons wishing to speak may register at each hearing site no earlier than one hour prior to the start of the hearing.

Speakers will be taken in the order of registration.  Each person may register only one speaker at a time.  Speakers are asked to limit their comments to three minutes or less.  Speakers representing groups and organizations should consolidate remarks to reduce duplication.  Persons unable to attend may comment in writing to either:

Delegate S. Chris Jones                               OR                  Senator Charles J. Colgan
P.O. Box 406                                                                        Senator Walter A. Stosch
General Assembly Building                                                  P.O. Box 396
Richmond, Virginia  23218                                                   General Assembly Building
Richmond, Virginia  23218

 Accommodations for individuals with hearing impairment may be made by calling (804) 698-7480 beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2015.  All requests for individuals with hearing impairment must be received by 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 21, 2015.  Interpreters will only be provided at locations per specific requests.

 

New Poll: Large Majority of Virginia Voters Support Improving the ACA, Closing the Coverage Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2015

New Poll: Large Majority of Virginia Voters Support Improving the ACA, Closing the Coverage Gap

RICHMOND, Va. — A new survey of likely voters in five states – Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – shows solid majorities believe the Affordable Care Act is here to stay (64 percent) and that Congress should work to improve the law (71 percent).

Moreover, in all five states, a large majority of voters support closing the health care coverage gap, created when the Supreme Court made expanding Medicaid optional under the ACA. In Virginia, nearly three-quarters of voters (74 percent) said Virginia should accept the federal funding set aside to close the coverage gap, an action that would make health care coverage available for up to 400,000 uninsured Virginians.

“This latest survey confirms what we continue to hear over and over across Virginia,” said Jill Hanken of the Virginia Poverty Law Center. “Voters understand that their fellow hardworking Virginians need the security of health coverage to get care when they need it, without facing huge medical bills or going into bankruptcy.”

A majority of states — 31 including the District of Columbia — have already taken advantage of the opportunity to close their coverage gaps and provide quality, affordable health insurance to their residents.

“We must move forward to lower health care costs for all Virginians,” said Hanken.

The survey was conducted by PerryUndem Research/Communication September 15-19, 2015; 1,005 adults who said they were likely to vote in the 2016 elections and have a history of voting in the 2012 or 2008 elections responded. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. The results were released by Community Catalyst and Service Employee International Union (SEIU).

For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.

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Media Contacts

Jill Hanken
(804) 402-2460
havcare@gmail.com

Patrick Getlein
(804) 396-2051 x103
patrick@thecommonwealthinstitute.org