Richmond, Va.—Virginia Organizing Chapters in Virginia Beach, Richmond, Waynesboro, and Danville celebrated the 5th anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) early this week with events in local areas.
“Virginia Organizing is excited that so many local people are coming together to talk about affordable health care for all Virginians,” said Virginia Organizing Chairperson Sandra A. Cook.
In Virginia Beach, the South Hampton Roads Chapter planted a historical marker in a lot across from the Anthem corporate building. This was the same site that so many protests and actions took place over many years to highlight the need for change in the insurance and health care system.
A historic marker was also placed in Danville. Chapter leaders joined with Piedmont Access to Heath Services (PATHS) to honor the work of the clinic in the community and celebrate the expansion of insurance to hundreds of thousands of Virginians.
Chapter leaders in Richmond and Waynesboro gathered for a celebration in their respective cities to celebrate the accomplishments of the ACA and call on General Assembly leaders to expand Medicaid.
Local people directly affected by the Affordable Care Act shared stories about the good the law has done in just five short years.
“I am so excited to be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act since I now have coverage myself,” said Virginia Organizing Richmond Chapter leader Lillie A. Estes.
“My health insurance is better than it was, I kept the doctors I’ve had for years, and it’s cheaper – I love it!” said Virginia Organizing Chapter leader Sheila Walters.
In addition to celebrating the law and the progress made, Virginia Organizing leaders lamented that the Virginia General Assembly has not expanded Medicaid.
“Thanks to the ACA, I finally have affordable health care insurance and no longer have to worry about having my health insurance dropped because of a pre-existing condition,” said another Virginia Organizing Chapter leader, Mary Kablach. “I still work very hard, but am now able to make ends meet. It makes me very sad that Virginia did not expand Medicaid because many other hard working people, making just a little less than me, cannot get access to affordable health care and peace of mind.”
“I am excited that 16.4 million people now have health care because of the ACA,” said Virginia Organizing leader Barbara Lee. “However, I fear that in Virginia, more hospitals might be closing because of the lack of Medicaid expansion.”
Virginia Organizing will continue to organize on the issue of Medicaid expansion in an effort to raise the voices of those directly affected by the policy. Other health care and Medicaid expansion events are planned in Charlottesville and Southwest Virginia for April.
To interview a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.