RICHMOND – AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau today lauded lawmakers for bipartisan efforts to increase access to health care for 400,000 Virginians, including 95,000 people over 50 who are not yet eligible for Medicare.
“On behalf of all Virginians age 50 and older, especially those 95,000 that will now have much-needed access to health coverage, we graciously thank those state senators who worked across the aisle to do the right thing and vote to expand Medicaid in Virginia.
“The Virginia House of Delegates did their job for the people of the Commonwealth and passed a budget that included Medicaid expansion during the regular session, and now the Senate has followed suit, voting 23-17 to pass a budget that includes Medicaid expansion. We hope that the differences in the two versions of the state budget can be worked out amicably and in a bipartisan manner for the good of the people of the Commonwealth.
“While AARP Virginia has concerns about some provisions of the Medicaid expansion plan – including a work requirement and lock-out periods that could provide unnecessary hurdles to obtaining coverage – we are encouraged that many members of the Virginia General Assembly recognize the vital need for increasing access to health care. Closing the coverage gap will strengthen local economies and protect access to health care in rural areas.
“This is an important first step in making sure that those who fall into the health care coverage gap get the care they need. AARP Virginia will continue to work with the General Assembly as changes are implemented to make sure than everyone who needs coverage receives it. We are very thankful to those senators who voted in favor of expansion and disappointed in those who did not,” Dau said.
A list of Senators, the number of people in their districts who could gain health coverage with Medicaid expansion, and how they voted on the Senate version of the budget, is below: