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Skirmish in Richmond Coming

 

Reinforcements will be needed ….

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1. Update on General Assembly special session; Action NEXT WEEK

2. IMPORTANT Action Item for TODAY

3. Keep calling these Senators
We apologize for the large number of alerts lately, but events can transpire quickly at the General Assembly, especially with a contentious issue like Medicaid expansion.  Thank you for your steadfastness on this issue.

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1.

Yesterday the Senate took an extended recess and indicated that the full body will not return until April 7 to continue work on the budget. The justification is that they need time to work on the Governor’s new budget proposal, but their actions send a clear message: they are not serious about finishing the budget in a timely fashion.
 

It’s INCREDIBLE that they would leave town, and if we don’t respond strong, they’ll get away with it. It’s an absolutely unnecessary delay considering that we have the budget sitting right here and we can finish it.” -House staffer

 

The Senate also announced it will hold a public hearing next Tuesday, April 1st at 2pm at the General Assembly. They are hoping the delay will give them time to gather public support and parade a host of advocates before the hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. Here is the link to the hearing: http://sfc.virginia.gov/committee.shtml .  
We encourage everyone to put next Tuesday’s public hearing on their calendar to speak before the Committee.  We need to have as strong a showing as our opposition. We cannot let them have the stage for their show all to themselves!
AFP is considering sending buses to the hearing. Please email us at info@virginiansforqualityhealthcare.com if you are interested in riding a bus to Richmond.
There isn’t any official notice yet on-line to announce this date or if folks will need to sign up ahead of time, how long they will have to speak etc.  However, we should plan to plan to attend with as many supporters as possible. As soon as there are additional details, we’ll pass them along

 

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2.

MEDICAID EXPANSION – LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
 
Call your delegate TODAY – tell them to support Amendments to the House Budget 5002  submitted by Bob Marshall.    

These amendments protect against provisions in the budget that could let expansion get through:   

Who is my legislator?

The House reconvenes this evening at 7:30 PM.  It is critical that you contact them before that time, preferably as soon as possible.

 

  • The first amendment eliminates language which authorizes appropriations to cover newly eligible individuals under Medicaid upon a simple finding by the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (“MIRC”) that “reforms” have been made. The MIRC Commission consists of a committee of 5 Senators and 5 Delegates and its “findings” would not be reviewable.

 

  • The second amendment to HB 5002 eliminates a provision which would have limited any extension of Medicaid to a final date of June 30, 2016.   That is not possible – there are simply no provisions in Obamacare, HHS regulations, or the President’s executive actions that allow Virginia or any other state to unilaterally withdraw from Medicaid expansion once it has been initiated.    

 

  • The third amendment to the budget bill prohibits the Department of Medical Assistance Services from administratively expanding Medicaid under the guise of adopting new regulations to cover other parts of Obamacare.

 

  At 7:30 tonight, the General Assembly reconvenes to take up the budget, including these amendments.  It is critically important that you contact your elected representatives TODAY prior to 7:30pm to let them know that you support these Marshall Amendments to HB 5002.

 

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3.

Contact these Senators as well:

Senator Walter A STOSCH (R) Senate District 12

Capitol# (804) 698-7512
District# (804) 527-7780
Senator Emmett W HANGER Jr (R)  Senate District 24
Capitol# (804) 698-7524
District# (540) 885-6698
Senator John C WATKINS (R)  Senate District 10
Capitol# (804) 698-7510
District# (804) 379-2063
Senator Phillip P PUCKETT (D)  Senate District 38
Capitol# (804) 698-7538
District# (276) 979-8181
Senator Charles J COLGAN (D)  Senate District 29
Capitol# (804) 698-7529
District# (703) 368-0300