Norfolk, VA: Virginia Organizing and Virginia New Majority rallied at U.S. Senator Mark Warner's Norfolk office today to urge him to protect and expand Medicaid.
Rally participants handed out flyers to encourage others to contact U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and urge them not to make cuts to Medicaid in any budget deals during the upcoming "lame duck" session of Congress after the election.
Winston Whitehurst, Virginia Organizing South Hampton Roads Chapter leader, said, "This Halloween there is a lot to be scared of. Hurricane Sandy was very scary with her severe wind and rain, but what's more scary to me is the idea that millions of people may lose Medicaid coverage through cuts or failure for states to provide the coverage to those who qualify under the law."
"This is truly an emergency as Virginia alone stands to have hundreds of thousands of uninsured people who won't benefit." Whitehurst said. "We must take a stand to protect this vital service for those who need it to decrease the burden on our hospitals and taxpayers."
Another participant, Alexis Edwards of Virginia SEIU 512, said she believes that Medicaid is something we need in this country. "We are always going to have a vulnerable population and individuals facing tough times. It is not only our duty as citizens to help protect those most vulnerable with programs like Medicaid, but it's an investment because it will be there for all of us if we need it."
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act in June left much of the law in place, but due to certain provisions, each state may choose or not choose to expand Medicaid to certain individuals.
Virginia Organizing and Virginia New Majority have placed a high priority on expanding Medicaid in Virginia to ensure that Virginians receive the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act.