Thursday, April 3, 2014

Representatives from Across the Commonwealth Urge the General Assembly to Close the Coverage Gap

Terry McAuliffe by David Shankbone, New York City
Terry McAuliffe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Senate Finance committee had a special hearing on Tuesday to listen to the input from citizens and groups around the Commonwealth on the budget that was put forward by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Listed below is a compilation of quotes from a few of the individuals and groups that will recap the impact that closing the coverage gap will have across the state.

“I know that with an issue like healthcare or Medicaid, it’s easy to get lost in the politics of the issue and lose sight of what this is really about. This isn’t about politics AND it isn’t a partisan issue. This is about the real lives of real people who live in our community and who are struggling to deal with hardship and adversity that most people would be hard pressed to even imagine, let alone deal with in their own lives.” – Lori Piper | former business executive

The faith community is deeply connected to people in need of health care. They are involved in faith based hospital systems, clinics and other charitable health services. People of faith help low income families when they are struggling with unforeseen illness or when illness has devastated their already limited financial resources. People of faith believe that life is precious and sacred and that individuals are called to care for one another. Healthcare access is a moral imperative. To deny access to those least among is to ignore our moral obligation. Please work toward closing the coverage gap without delay.” – Robin Gahan | Director of Programs for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

“Medicaid expansion is the right thing to do.  It will improve our population’s health, support our state’s economy, and reduce the impact on our healthcare system of caring for the uninsured.  Too many have suffered for too long without access to health insurance.  Now is the time to remedy this.” – Mark Ryan, MD and Kate Tulenko, MD | National Physicians Alliance Board of Directors Members

"To oppose the expansion of Medicaid, regardless of the facts, is to deny hard-working Virginians like me the opportunity to have health care to have a better life. Without access to quality, affordable care, I am at risk of a life of disability and dependency, when I could be living a life of independence and productivity." - Roslyn Gadley | home care provider from Alexandria, VA

"Medicaid Expansion would literally be a life-saver for me and for tens of thousands of other home care workers. We work hard caring for seniors and people with disabilities, and we love what we do. But we can't afford health insurance for ourselves and our families... As a cancer survivor, I call on the General Assembly to work with the Governor to expand Medicaid so that every Virginian can lead a long, healthy, and successful life." - Thomasine Wilson | home care provider from Richmond, VA

“It is important that you meet and understand the needs of the real people this issue affects.  That is why Governor McAuliffe has been traveling throughout the Commonwealth visiting the places these folks live.  He wanted to hear firsthand the impact of not providing coverage, either through the expansion of Medicaid or the Marketplace plan the Senate is proposing. Every day that we fail to address this issue it is costing the Commonwealth not only in terms of financial loss, but more importantly the loss of health and peace of mind for the people you took an oath to serve.  I hope we can count on you to lay politics aside and do the right thing.  Now is the time.” – Kay Crane | CEO of Piedmont Access to Health Services, Inc. (PATHS)

“So many of the people I have come into contact with as a Certified Application Counselor have been thrilled to have affordable insurance for once in their life. I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to tell someone they fall into the coverage gap and there is nothing that can be done until Virginia extends coverage to them. Please set aside politics and do the right thing for hundreds of thousands of Virginians.  Close the coverage gap!” – Robin Tyler | Certified Application Counselor with Central Virginia Health Services
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