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ICYMI: GOP Delegates face constituents, get earful on closing the coverage gap

April 29, 2014

At three town hall meetings hosted by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity over the past week, GOP Delegates have gotten an earful from constituents staunchly in favor of closing the coverage gap. GOP Delegates have by and large avoided hosting their own town hall meetings during the coverage gap debate, likely fueling the crowds of constituents determined to make their voices heard at these events. 

"Members of the House of Delegates face an important decision," said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. "They can listen to their constituents and find a compromise to close the coverage gap and help up to 400,000 Virginians access quality, affordable health care. Or, they can continue to follow Speaker Howell's blind ideology and put partisan political games ahead of sound public policy."


News Virginian: Bell steps into lion's den on Medicaid expansion

"It was billed as a town hall regarding Medicaid expansion, but Del. Dickie Bell found himself squarely in the arena Monday night fending off questions of why Virginia can't expand the healthcare program.

During a two-hour town hall meeting co-sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Bell, who represents Staunton and Waynesboro, received skepticism from much of the audience. He especially drew the ire of members of Virginia Organizing, a grassroots group that wants to expand Medicaid."


Loudoun Times Mirror: Medicaid rallies draw fiery crowd in Ashburn

"Three Republican delegates from Loudoun stood firm Monday night in their opposition to expanded Medicaid in Virginia, this despite a largely hostile, relentless audience lobbying in favor of extending the health care program to as many as 400,000 Virginians. 

At a town hall-style forum at the Ashburn library, state Dels. Tag Greason (R-32nd), Randy Minchew (R-10th) and David LaRock (R-33rd) were deluged with questions about why they're fighting against Medicaid expansion."


WVTF: VA Medicaid Expansion a Lively Topic in Charlottesville

"The conservative group Americans for Prosperity organized a public forum in Charlottesville this week to discuss Medicaid expansion.  The featured speakers were two Republican Delegates who strongly oppose the idea, but it seemed they had come to the wrong place, as supporters packed the auditorium.  

About 150 people gathered outside the Albemarle County Building holding signs that encouraged honks of support for expanding Medicaid.  Thousands of people in this city work for the University of Virginia Medical Center, Martha Jefferson Hospital and other healthcare organizations that currently absorb the cost of caring for poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid now."

WHSV: Medicaid Expansion Rally Held at Waynesboro Public Library

 "A rally put on by Virginia Organizing was held outside the Waynesboro Public Library on Monday for support of medicaid expansion in Virginia.

Many of the people here think there are big consequences if medicaid expansion isn't passed.

"I feel anger, because I feel like why would you do this to me when I wouldn't do this to you," says Mercedies Harris who went to the rally, "people are going to die at home, the elderly don't get in ambulances because it costs $100 dollars a mile in some ambulances."

NBC29: Town Hall Meeting Centers on Medicaid Expansion

"With thousands uninsured in Virginia and the state budget hanging on Medicaid expansion, it's become a heated topic throughout the state. Monday night, people in the Shenandoah Valley got a chance to weigh in.

Americans for Prosperity hosted a town hall meeting about Medicaid expansion while 20th District Delegate Dickie Bell (R) took the reins. Bell says reform is needed and opposes Medicaid expansion.

"The commonwealth of Virginia already draws down nearly twice as much as we pay in federal taxes. How much more are we likely to get with Medicaid expansion?" he said.

But others who attended Monday night's meeting at the Waynesboro Public Library spoke in favor of expansion.

"I am really ashamed of the state of Virginia if it does not step up and expand Medicaid," Ruth Jost said."

Newsplex: Rally and Town Hall Focus on Medicaid Expansion

"Virginia legislators are still debating whether to expand the Medicaid program to as many as 400,000 people in the state using federal funds. It's the issue that has kept them from passing a budget.

People on both sides of the argument got a chance to be heard in Charlottesville on Monday.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) held a town hall meeting at the Albemarle County Office Building. Delegates Rob Bell and Steve Landes, who are both opposed to Medicaid expansion, explained their stance and answered questions from a packed crowd."