Saturday, March 01, 2014

Medicaid expansion: Local hospital says yes; Landes, Cline, Bell and tea party say no

Governor Terry McAuliffe will be visiting the Shenandoah Valley this afternoon, making a stop at Augusta Health's Heart and Vascular Center in Fishersville at 2:00 in his effort to close the gap in medicaid coverage.

Augusta Health has been an advocate for increasing coverage. CEO and president Mary Mannix wrote, "The gap in health insurance coverage created by the Affordable Care Act has left thousands of people in our community without access to affordable coverage. ... This coverage gap is not only a source of hardship for our uninsured patients; it also puts an enormous financial strain on our hospital."

Today's visit will be countered by protesters from Americans for Prosperity and local tea party groups who plan to gather in the hospital parking lot with signs against the proposed expansion. Local state delegates Steve Landes, Ben Cline, and Dickie Bell have scheduled a 3:00 news conference at a private business a mile from the hospital's campus to protest expansion and its affect on small businesses.

It should make for an interesting Saturday afternoon in Augusta County.

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