‘Virginia Organizing’ Events Call for Medicaid Expansion - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

‘Virginia Organizing’ Events Call for Medicaid Expansion

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A group in Charlottesville is speaking out on its support for Medicaid expansion in Virginia. Organizers say it is a win-win situation that will benefit more than 400,000 people across the commonwealth.

The grassroots organization called Virginia Organizing held nine events across the state Friday to call for a push to expand Medicaid.

The panel in Charlottesville featured three speakers who all say it is time for Virginia to take action. People gathered in the conference room at the Region Ten community services board building Friday morning to hear about why Medicaid expansion is beneficial.

Organizers say the action would bring millions of dollars to Virginia and could potentially create more than 30,000 jobs in the health care industry. Region Ten's executive director, Robert Johnson, says the group is currently working with 1,000 people who would be eligible for the expansion at a cost of about $2.8 million.

“That would be that much or potentially that much less burden on localities to provide funding if we expanded Medicaid. So for us, the benefit of health care, no longer using emergency rooms and we get the benefit of having more dollars to treat more individuals and reduce the stigma of mental health and substance use disorders,” Johnson said.

Organizers also stress there is little risk that comes with this decision. They say Virginia can withdraw the expansion if the federal government does not support the state with costs.

Events were also held other central Virginia localities, including Staunton and Richmond, Friday.

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