What: Virtual roundtable with health care providers, patients, and community leaders
When: Thursday, July 30 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom; join by video (click here) or phone (1-929-436-2866; Meeting ID 942 6856 8431)
Martinsville, Va. — Virginia Organizing will host a virtual roundtable on Thursday, July 30 at 12:30 p.m. on Zoom to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare and call for a stronger COVID-19 relief package from Congress. Despite Medicaid’s proven value as a health care program and economic stimulus to local communities, the Senate’s COVID-19 proposal does not provide a single additional dollar to the longstanding public program.
Thursday’s roundtable will include health care providers from Danville and Martinsville, patients who receive coverage through Medicare and Medicaid, and community leaders who support an expanded relief package.
“Life can be especially challenging during this time and it is important to celebrate the victories that we can. The anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare is a reminder of one such victory,” said Gerie Fatundimu, a leader in the Martinsville/Henry County Chapter of Virginia Organizing. “It’s time to create a new victory by passing the strongest possible stimulus package. Our friends and neighbors who are eligible for Medicaid, SNAP recipients, and our states and local governments deserve full COVID-19 relief.”
In May, Virginia Organizing released a letter signed by more than 140 state and local officials—including many elected officials in Southside and Southwest—calling for a robust COVID-19 relief package to create a strong, equitable recovery. Urgency for federal action on relief and recovery has been building over the past month as more than 900,000 filed unemployment claims by early July. Without substantial federal assistance, Virginia could lose up to 135,100 jobs by 2021, plunging more families into hardship and slowing economic recovery.
The roundtable will also highlight the importance of Medicare for seniors in our local community.
“My husband and I depended upon individual, private health insurance policies for several years after taking early retirement,” said Martha Woody, a Martinsville resident and leader in Virginia Organizing. “The policies were expensive, and I worried that if we were ever really sick the insurance company would drop us, and how could we possibly fight that? It was such a relief when we were eligible for Medicare. Obviously we pay a share of the Medicare cost, and we have a supplemental policy and a prescription policy that we pay for, so it’s not ‘free.’ But I know that our health care needs will be attended to, and that gives me a sense of both being cared about and being cared for, and that’s lovely.”
After speakers share their opening remarks, community members and reporters will be able to ask questions and participate in the moderated discussion.
To interview a spokesperson about this event, contact Nik Belanger at 434-709-4953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.