Diverse Group of Health Care Advocates to Governor: ‘Veto the Budget’

A diverse group of health care advocates including doctors, faith leaders, health care providers, mental health advocates, consumer advocates, and localities issued the following statement today in a press call, urging Governor McAuliffe to veto the budget.

“Governor McAuliffe should veto the budget sent to him by the General Assembly. Our organizations have tirelessly advocated for years to provide quality, affordable health care for all Virginians, and we are outraged that the General Assembly has failed to close the coverage gap.

“Closing the gap would bring billions of dollars into the state, create jobs, and save lives. We urge Governor McAuliffe to take a stand against a budget full of such misplaced priorities, and refuse to sign a budget that does not close the coverage gap.”

  • AARP Virginia
  • Mental Health America of Virginia
  • Mental Health America of Central Virginia
  • Mental Health America of New River Valley
  • Mental Health Association of Faquier County
  • National Association of Social Workers – Virginia Chapter
  • National Physicians Alliance – Virginia
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Arlington
  • Progress VA Education Fund
  • Social Action Linking Together (SALT)
  • The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
  • Virginia AFL-CIO
  • Virginia Chapter of Doctors for America
  • Virginia Chapter, National Organization for Women
  • Virginia Consumer Voices for Healthcare
  • Virginia First Cities
  • Virginia Hemophilia Foundation
  • Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
  • Virginia New Majority
  • Virginia Poverty Law Center
  • Virginia Rural Health Association

Dr. Chris Lillis, primary care provider in Fredericksburg and Virginia State Director, Doctors for America: “Expanding Medicaid will allow for coordinated, primary care for hard working Virginians who have this historic opportunity to gain access to health insurance. Primary care, especially the coordinated care of chronic disease, leads to healthier lives and less cost for our health system as a whole. Closing the Coverage Gap is the right thing to do for Virginia. It is a decision that puts patients ahead of politics.”

Michael Cassidy, President & CEO, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis: “Lawmakers passed a deeply flawed spending plan that denies 400,000 hardworking Virginians quality, affordable health care. But they also have passed up another $250 million in lost state budget savings as well as tax revenues that would be generated by the creation of some 20,000 health care jobs. These misplaced priorities have led to even deeper cuts to K-12 education, health care, public safety, and other key public investments. Taken together these misguided decisions undermine the state’s long-term economic strength.”

Marco Grimaldo, CEO & President, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy: “The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy has consistently called for a moral budget that lifts up all Virginians and offers a helping hand to low-income people in the Commonwealth. Insomuch as this budget does not expand access to health care through Medicaid, we call on Gov. McAulliffe to veto the bill and ask the General Assembly to approve a budget with Medicaid.”