For Immediate Release: February 6, 2013
VIRGINIA ORGANIZING HOLDS "WEEK OF ACTION" SUPPORTING MEDICAID EXPANSIONRichmond, Va. – Virginia Organizing Chapters across the state showed support of Medicaid expansion by creating a Week of Action after the Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees released their budgets on Sunday, February 3.Virginia Organizing has made Medicaid expansion in Virginia its top priority at this year’s General Assembly.“This week is about getting the message out that Medicaid expansion is important for all Virginians,” said Augusta-Staunton-Waynesboro Chapter leader Elizabeth La Grua.Harrisonburg and Augusta-Staunton-Waynesboro Chapter leaders made the 160-mile trek to Richmond on Wednesday (February 6) to talk to their legislators about the importance of Medicaid expansion.The Danville Chapter has been encouraging the Danville City Council to support Medicaid expansion. City Council met Tuesday evening and Virginia Organizing Chapter leaders were there. Danville’s mayor agreed to send a letter supporting Medicaid expansion from the city.Danville Chapter leader Catherine Fitzgerald said, "Medicaid expansion would be a good package because it would benefit a lot of people who can't afford medical services without it. Here in Danville, the unemployment rate is so high that there are a lot of people who need access to health care who are going untreated because they can't afford it."Small business leaders from the South Hampton Roads area visited Virginia Senator Frank Wagner’s Richmond office on Wednesday to deliver a packet of information on the importance of Medicaid expansion. The packet included a copy of the Virginia Beach resolution asking the General Assembly to expand Medicaid and letters of support for Medicaid expansion from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Sentara and the Virginia Main Street Alliance.In northern Virginia, students and community members rallied at George Mason University to show their support of Medicaid expansion on Tuesday. Brian Kenny Henriquez-Mercado, a 19 year-old full-time student and part-time cashier, spoke about his own experience growing up with Medicaid and what it meant for him to age out of the program.Henriquez-Mercado said without health insurance he lives in fear. “I don’t know how I would pay for that,” he said. “If Medicaid were expanded, I wouldn’t have to worry so much.”Virginia Organizing opposes any delays to expanding Medicaid in Virginia and believes reform is possible without delaying the expansion and letting over 400,000 people go without insurance for even a day longer than they have to. Other actions are planned for later this week.In addition to actions across the Commonwealth, Virginia Organizing also made thousands of phone calls in the past couple of weeks informing constituents about the importance of contacting their legislators in support of Medicaid expansion.To interview a participant of any Medicaid actions or a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.