‘You can and must do better.’

On Monday, March 7, we delivered the following letter to all members of the General Assembly:

To Members of the Virginia General Assembly:

This session marks the 4th year that you have refused to meet the health care needs of up to 400,000 low income Virginians. During that time you have also forfeited over $3.5 billion available for Virginia to provide real health insurance for your constituents.

The 100+ organizations in the Healthcare for All Virginians (HAV) coalition adamantly believe Virginia should join 31 other states and D.C. to close its coverage gap. We have provided you with information about the benefits, costs, and savings related to this coverage. We have shared with you actual stories of people in the gap who are suffering because they can’t get the health care they need.

These are people who need your help to be healthy and productive. Many of them face enormous obstacles. Their health care needs are often urgent. The financial consequences of not having coverage are also devastating for many.

The large majority of uninsured individuals are in working families, with many of them contributing to the most important sectors of Virginia’s economy. A healthy workforce is essential to Virginia’s future.

Your continued inaction means Virginia – among the wealthiest of states – will continue to have a huge population of uninsured citizens, at a time when our neighboring states are seeing historic gains in coverage. This is unacceptable.

“Access to care” has been cited as a desired goal in many of your discussions this year about mental health, substance abuse, and COPN. We are confident there are ways for you to address all these issues in a comprehensive manner. There are efficient and cost-effective strategies to make a real difference in the lives of your constituents who are low income and uninsured.

The HAV Coalition urges you to put politics aside and do what’s best for the hundreds of thousands of low income adults in Virginia who need health insurance. If you do that, we firmly believe there is a way to develop a unique Virginia solution to address this problem.

You can and must do better. This issue is not going away, until – together – we find a Virginia solution that provides healthcare to ALL Virginians.

Click here for a pdf of this letter.