What: Day of action in support of Medicaid expansion
When: Saturday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Blacksburg Presbyterian Church (701 Church Street SE, Blacksburg, VA)
Blacksburg, Va. — The New River Valley Chapter of Virginia Organizing will hold a day of action in support of Medicaid expansion on Saturday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church (701 Church Street, Blacksburg, VA). Community members will gather in the Hatcher Conference Room to share health care stories, create a visual representation of the health care coverage gap, and make calls to legislators urging them to expand Medicaid.
On February 18, known in Richmond as “Budget Sunday,” the House of Delegates and Senate will release their respective budgets. Virginia Organizing leaders want local legislators to fight for Medicaid expansion in this year’s budget process.
Medicaid expansion will provide health coverage to 240,000 uninsured Virginians, create 30,000 jobs, and bring millions of federal dollars back into the state. Virginia could save over $138 million during the biennium. Those savings could be used in various ways – supporting additional health initiatives or other state needs.
“I do not make enough from my job while attending college to afford the cost of health care from the open market, while paying the rest of my bills. There are over 240,000 people just like me in the state of Virginia, 3,800 in Montgomery County alone,” says David Yarzebinski, a Christiansburg resident and student at New River Community College.
Reverend Pam Phillips, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the New River Valley states, “Health care is not a luxury; it is a fundamental human right. Now is the time to stop denying this right to Virginians who fall into the health coverage gap. Now is the time for the General Assembly to start accepting the millions of federal dollars that would help pull hundreds of thousands out of the health coverage gap.”
This day of action is part of a statewide week of action. By organizing events from Southwest Virginia to the Eastern Shore, community members are standing up to demand Medicaid expansion in 2018.