Richmond, Va.—”Finally, Medicaid Expansion has a chance in Virginia,” said Del McWhorter, Virginia Organizing Chairperson. “Right now both the House of Delegates and the Senate of the General Assembly have bills they are considering that would bring all the people in the coverage gap into Medicaid. We are asking our supporters to contact their state legislators this week to ask them to pass these bills: HB348 and SB158.
“Not all the news is good though. We are watching bills that have been introduced that would allow the state to require Medicaid recipients to work. Many people need Medicaid because they are too sick or disabled to work; a work requirement will prevent people with illnesses and disabilities from getting health care at all. Most people who would qualify for this expanded Medicaid program already work, but their wages are too low to buy health insurance and their employers don’t provide it. A work requirement won’t put more Medicaid recipients to work; it will just keep sick people from getting the health care that might help them get well and go back to work.
“In other words, work requirements don’t ensure that more Medicaid recipients work. They just reduce the number of people who can get Medicaid and the number of people who can work.”
McWhorter concluded, “We just want a straight-forward expansion of Medicaid for the hundreds of thousands of Virginians currently without health coverage.”