Fighting to Keep Medicaid Expansion
I will continue to fight against threats to cut funding to Medicaid expansion and work to ensure that all Virginians can receive affordable and quality health care.
An historic moment: Medicaid expansion in Virginia.
I fought alongside my Democratic colleagues for nearly a decade to expand Medicaid in Virginia. When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, they included money for states to expand Medicaid coverage. But General Assembly Republicans refused that money and stranded 400,000 working Virginians without healthcare.
With the help of grassroots advocates, and my colleagues in both the House of Delegates and Senate, we were finally able to pass Medicaid Expansion for those 400,000 uninsured working Virginians.
The passage of Medicaid expansion in the 2018 Legislative Session freed up hundreds of thousands of dollars in our state budget, which allowed us to fund additional critical needs such as education, mental health, and transportation across the Commonwealth. Governor Northam’s Medicaid Expansion bill-signing ceremony on the Capitol steps in Richmond in summer 2018 was an historic moment and I was proud to be a part of it. The passage of Medicaid expansion in Virginia was made possible by the pressure exerted by the unprecedented number of Democratic office holders elected in the 2018 Blue Wave. There is strength in numbers, which enabled us to finally pass Medicaid expansion legislation and offer healthcare to for some 400,000 working, yet uninsured, Virginians.
"Delegate Kaye Kory was instrumental in delivering Medicaid Expansion. We were proud to give her the Health Equity Award for helping expand Medicaid in the Commonwealth of Virginia."
– Tom Greeson
Community Health President
Thousands enrolled, thousands more to go.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has been dragging its feet on the issue of Medicaid expansion, but finally voted to expand medical coverage for some 400,000 low-income Virginians. Across America, Medicaid expansion has delivered quality, affordable healthcare to millions of people who needed it most. The second full month of Medicaid expansion enrollment in Virginia just wrapped up before the 2019 Reconvened Session, and 233,179 more Virginians now have quality, affordable health insurance. However, another 150,000 Virginians that are eligible have not yet signed up.
While over 90% of Virginians now have healthcare coverage, I will keep fighting for expanded access until we reach 100%.
Thousands of people have gained access to health care coverage through Medicaid expansion and the enrollment efforts in our Commonwealth. However, data from the Commonwealth Institute is indicative of additional work necessary to continue to connect more uninsured people who are eligible to receive Medicaid coverage. In the Charlottesville-Western region of Virginia, a total of 32,199 people have enrolled; yet, another 43,603 are likely eligibile and uninsured. In the Roanoke and Alleghany area, 26,789 people have enrolled in Medicaid expansion while another 44,539 are likely eligible. In Southwest Virginia, a total of 20,195 people are enrolled, but 28,159 people are still likely to be eligible.
These numbers are proof that we must do everything we can to elect leaders who will bring equity in healthcare access to our Commonwealth and prioritize making high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all.
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Expanding Medicaid — and continuing the ongoing fight for 100% coverage — is one of the accomplishments I am most proud of in my career of public service.