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Community Forums on Medicaid Expansion to be Held Across Virginia

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Legislators, policy experts, and health care representatives will take questions from the public on the proposal to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program at a series of public forums across the Commonwealth. The community forums — sponsored by AARP Virginia, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and the HAV (Healthcare for All Virginians coalition) — will be held in the Richmond area, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg and Lynchburg over the next two weeks.

The Virginia General Assembly will return to Richmond in special session on April 11, and lawmakers have the chance to expand health care coverage to nearly 400,000 Virginians. This community forum will discuss the impact closing the health insurance coverage gap will have on Virginia families and the state budget.

The purpose of the forums is to hold a bi-partisan public discussion on the effort to close the health insurance coverage gap by expanding Medicaid in Virginia, how it impacts the two-year state budget, and what this all means for Virginians and local communities.

The public will be able to submit questions to the forum moderators, who will lead the discussion among our panels of General Assembly members, health care policy experts, and representatives from the health care industry.

Details of the forums include:

Richmond: 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 8706 Quaker Lane, Bon Air, 23235. AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau and Rev. Jeanne Pupke, pastor of First Unitarian Universalist Church will co-moderate the Richmond forum. Panelists will include: Delegate Christopher Peace, R-Mechanicsville; Delegate Dawn Adams, D-Chesterfield; Jill Hanken, Director of the Center for Healthy Communities of the Virginia Poverty Law Center; and a health care industry representative.

Virginia Beach: 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at Church of the Holy Apostles 1593 Lynnhaven Pkwy. Virginia Beach, VA 23453. Dr. Quentin Kidd, Director of the Judy Ford Wason Center at Christopher Newport University will moderate the forum.  Panelists will include: Delegate Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach; Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, D-Virginia Beach ; Dr. Daniel Carey, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources; and, Amy Paulson, director of the Consortium for Infant and Child Health at Eastern Virginia Medical School (invited).

Fredericksburg: 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 9 at Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St. Fredericksburg, 22401. Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington, will moderate the panel discussion.

Lynchburg area: 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Bedford Public Library, 321 N Bridge St., Bedford, 24523.

A forum was held in Williamsburg on March 21.

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