VA Special Session: The Battle for Medicaid Expansion

By Nicole Linder, Fall 2014 Advocacy & Communications Intern. Connect with Nicole at @NALinder or

The fight to expand Medicaid in Virginia is over…for now, at least.

The Virginia General Assembly returned to Richmond last week for a one-day special session to consider the expansion of Medicaid, among other issues.

Coverage Gap
Image courtesy of The Henry Kaiser Family Foundation

The proposed expansion was estimated to cover some 400,000 low-income Virginians who currently find themselves in the “coverage gap”— the dilemma of both not being able to qualify for Medicaid nor afford private health insurance.

Despite public opinion (6 out of 10 Virginians agree with Medicaid expansion) and expected economic benefits, Republicans in the House of Delegates voted against Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth, 64 to 33.

Honk&Wave 6
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia volunteers took to the Capitol on September 18th for a Honk & Wave for Health Care!

While House Republicans were voting against the expansion of Medicaid–a move that would reject a $3.9 billion boost to the Virginia economy–we were outside the Capitol rallying in favor of the social healthcare program.

In conjunction with our friends at the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, we took to the streets for a classic honk & wave for health care. While holding our “WE LOVE MEDICAID” signs and telling lawmakers to “CLOSE THE GAP,” we received many honks and positive praises from those who passed by.

Honk&Wave 1
It’s time to #ClosetheGap!

Although the special session did not turn out as we hoped, we’re thankful for all those who supported our honk and wave and told our lawmakers it’s time to close the gap!

We also extend a special “thank you” to the 33 Delegates who stood up for Virginia healthcare and voted “yes” to expanding Medicaid!

  • BaCote (D)
  • Bulova (D)
  • Carr (D)
  • Dance (D)
  • Davis (R)
  • Edmunds (R)
  • Filler-Corn (D)
  • Futrell (D)
  • Herring (D)
  • Hester (D)
  • Hope (D)
  • James (D)
  • Keam (D)
  • Kory (D)
  • Krupicka (D)
  • Lindsey (D)
  • Lopez (D)
  • Mason (D)
  • McClellan (D)
  • McQuinn (D)
  • Morrissey (D)
  • Plum (D)
  • Rasoul (D)
  • Rust (R)
  • Sickles (D)
  • Simon (D)
  • Sullivan (D)
  • Surovell (D)
  • Torian (D)
  • Toscano (D)
  • Tyler (D)
  • Ward (D)
  • Watts (D)

As the battle for Medicaid expansion continues, we will rely on your leadership to ensure that all Virginians–regardless of incomes– have access to healthcare.


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