Unfortunately, this past Saturday, the Virginia General Assembly adjourned for the session without passing a budget or dealing with the question of Medicaid expansion. They will reconvene on Monday, March 24, for a Special Session on the budget and Medicaid expansion. The Senate is holding to their plan to expand coverage to hundreds of thousands of Virginians through Marketplace Virginia, while the House is continuing to refuse to budge on their opposition to Medicaid expansion.
THIS IS A CALL FOR ACTION IN YOUR DISTRICTS!
All of this means that for the next two weeks we have a great opportunity to voice support and the need for expansion in our home cities, towns, and counties! Our state Delegates and Senators will be home from Richmond and NEED to hear from local constituents who want Medicaid expanded to cover hundreds of thousands of Virginians who currently lack health insurance coverage.
There are MANY ways to do this:
· Write Letters to the Editors in your local newspapers, knowing that your state Delegate and Senator will be in the area and paying attention to local media!
· Phonebank! We have made thousands and thousands of calls since the beginning of the 2014 General Assembly into the districts of key legislators. Please sign up to make phonecalls or help organize a local phonebank in your home district. We have scripts, numbers, etc. all ready for your use!
· Organize a Media Conference or Event: All you need is a few friends and some community members! We did nine of these on the same day back in February and our Southside members held a vigil for Delegate Danny Marshall just this past Saturday! We can help make contacts with local health care clinics if you are interested! Dr. Greg Gelburd went to the General Assembly Building last week and said he was fasting until they make a decision—a local TV station and a regional talk show program called attention to the need for Medicaid expansion as a result. Take action now!
· Attend a Town hall or Tele-town hall: There may be some town hall meetings in local districts in the next two weeks, or “meetings” where you get a call from a member connecting you to their tele-town hall. Raise questions about expanding Medicaid expansion at every opportunity you get!
· Ask your local government officials to sign on in support! Just last week, seven cities in South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula had mayors send a letter to the General Assembly asking them to pass Medicaid expansion!
· Get representatives of your local hospital, your local Chamber of Commerce, and your health care providers to add their voices to the growing chorus for Medicaid expansion. Most hospitals and business people are saying they are for it!
· Pass out flyers to everyone you know, asking them to call your state Delegate and Senator. (Let us know if you need help in putting together a flyer!)
· Attend a Virginia Organizing event locally! We currently have the following things already planned (with more coming):
o In Fredericksburg and Norfolk, there will be community forums at local churches.
o In Lee, Wise and Scott counties, there is a Letter to the Editor drive.
o In Petersburg, there will be a door-to-door canvass next week.
o In Charlottesville this week, members will distribute flyers on the Downtown Mall to encourage residents to contact one of their state legislators, Delegate Rob Bell.