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RELEASE: ProgressVA condemns McDonnell refusal to participate in federal Medicaid expansion
Governor rejecting Medicaid expansion that could provide health insurance to over 400,000 low-income Virginians
In response to Governor McDonnell's announcement that he will block Virginia's participation in the federal Medicaid expansion, ProgressVA released the following statement from Executive Director Anna Scholl:
"Governor McDonnell is rejecting low-cost health insurance for over 400,000 low-income Virginians. Virginia families need the security of knowing that when they get sick, they can see a doctor without an enormous bill once they've gotten well. McDonnell is playing politics with Virginians' health care and putting his personal political ambitions before Virginians' health. Now our tax dollars will go to pay for health care for people in Massachussetts and California instead of helping residents here at home."
The Affordable Care Act provides federal dollars to states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs to people who earn incomes below 133% of the poverty line. In Virginia, this amounts to 420,000 people (almost half of those who are currently uninsured) who could get heath insurance through a Medicaid expansion and be secure in the knowledge that if disaster strikes, they won't also go bankrupt.
Virginia has one of the worst Medicaid programs in the country already. It only covers families who make below 30% of the poverty line, so if a family of 4 makes more than $10,000 a year, they can't qualify for this program even though they would have no other way of affording insurance. By implementing this provision of the Affordable Care Act, individuals who make $15,000 and families of four who make $31,000 a year would qualify.