The Center has focused on ensuring that all Virginians have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. We will continue to press for expanding Medicaid to reach the greatest number of people who fall into the coverage gap in Virginia. By some estimates, there remain approximately 400,000 Virginians that would benefit from making Medicaid more available by drawing down the federal funds are already set aside. Most of the people that are left in the coverage gap are working and simply earn too much to benefit from the current Medicaid program in Virginia (helps persons earning less than 33% of the federal poverty line).
Our current system is straining to care for uninsured individuals and families. The Virginia Hospital & Health Care Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, and most every other interested group including labor organizations and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce all agree that we need to expand Medicaid.
About one in eight Virginians (874,000 people) is without any medical health insurance. Despite being one of the 10 wealthiest states, Virginia ranks 23rd in terms of the number of uninsured people. The vast majority of those without insurance are poor and live in families in which at least one person works.
All major faith traditions support expanding coverage to assure that all people have adequate and affordable health insurance. VICPP supports:
Drawing down federal Medicaid dollars or other federal dollars that may become available to expand healthcare to low-income Virginians.
Expanding mental health services in Virginia.
Expanding substance abuse services in Virginia.
Expanding mental health and substance abuse services in Virginia is clearly important for those with mental health or substance abuse problems. It will also reduce family violence and stress and keep people out of jails who are there simply because they have mental illness or substance abuse problems.
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