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Patient Advocates From Across Virginia Visit the State Capitol to Address State Budget Cuts to Medicaid
Date:3/3/2010

sential because for thousands of patients throughout the state, life depends on the availability of quality healthcare.  Medicaid coverage can literally save lives by allowing patients to access needed care following a diagnosis."

Virginia's Medicaid program, which currently provides healthcare coverage to approximately 692,000 low-income individuals and families, is facing deep cuts.  Of the $2.2 billion in budget cuts currently under consideration by the state's legislature, the Medicaid program faces one of the biggest hits, with proposals for cuts ranging from $262 million to over $325 million, including suggestions to cap eligibility or freeze enrollment for the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  The CHIP freeze, if adopted, could result in reduced access to care for approximately 28,000 children and pregnant woman.  The Virginia Medicaid program provides a vital safety net to Virginians who can't afford healthcare coverage.  Additionally, Virginia is to be commended for its support since 2007 of uninsured Virginians who do not qualify for Medicaid through the Virginia Cares Uninsured Program (VCUP).

The proposed Medicaid cuts in Virginia are only further punctuated by a sizeable increase in the state's unemployment rate.  In December 2009, the state's unemployment rate rose to 6.7 p
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SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
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