Voices’ Blog

Speak up for the Health of Virginia Families

Posted:  -  By: Voices for VA's Kids

Virginia is facing an important choice that affects the well-being of many families and children. Under the Affordable Care Act, Virginia has the opportunity to expand its Medicaid program to provide health insurance to adults making below 138% of the federal poverty level (that’s less than $33,000 for a family of four). Virginia has not yet chosen to expand Medicaid.

The General Assembly established a commission to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether Virginia should expand Medicaid. That commission — the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission — is seeking public comment.

You have a very important opportunity to weigh in on improving the health of Virginia families! There are 400,000 adults with very low incomes in Virginia who would be eligible for Medicaid if Virginia chooses to expand.

As child advocates, why do we care? Because 25% of those eligible grown-ups are PARENTS of children under the age of 18. In other words, expanding Medicaid provides health insurance to 100,000 VIRGINIA PARENTS!

Research shows that when parents have health insurance, they are more likely to enroll their kids in health insurance and take them to the doctor. That means more kids getting well-child check-ups, staying healthier, and whole families staying out of the emergency room when they get sick! Not only does that mean better health, but smarter spending of healthcare dollars.

So what can you do?

Provide public comment to the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC), the group of legislators deciding whether we will expand Medicaid in Virginia. The deadline to submit comments: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 before 5:00PM. Let them know that expanding Medicaid helps improve the health of whole families in Virginia, including the kids of approximately 100,000 grown-ups. Every comment counts, and we need to make sure they know we are standing up for Virginia’s children and families.

Here are some points you might want to make. Please personalize your comments.

  • I know someone personally who does not have health insurance, expanding Medicaid is important to me.
  • All Virginians deserve access to healthcare- expand Medicaid now!
  • Medicaid expansion bridges the coverage gap, ensuring that 400,000 Virginians have access to high quality affordable healthcare
  • The expansion will create 30,000 new healthcare jobs
  • Medicaid expansion will be 100% federally funded for the first 3 years and then 90% funded by the federal government starting in 2020
  • Access to insurance improves financial health for families and individuals.
  • In the past year, four in ten adults with serious mental illness went without mental healthcare, in large part due to having no insurance.
  • Six in ten adults living with a less serious mental health condition–
    but still a diagnosable condition requiring treatment–also went without any mental health care in the past year.


Please click here to provide public comment to MIRC!

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