RICHMOND, Va. — Freedom Virginia, a nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization committed to building a Commonwealth where all Virginia families have the freedom to thrive, today called for Gov. Glenn Youngkin to wage and serve as the face of a massive public relations campaign to educate Virginians on Medicaid unwinding, a year-long process triggered on April 1 that could result in as many as 400,000 Virginians losing access to quality, affordable health care.
Unwinding resulted from the re-instatement of pre-pandemic Medicaid rules, which require recipients to fill out paperwork every year confirming their eligibility for the program. As many as 172,000 Virginians who are still eligible for Medicaid are at risk of losing coverage due to barriers that include housing instability, language access, and administrative hurdles. The remaining recipients are at risk of losing health insurance because they no longer meet eligibility requirements and need assistance navigating how to obtain other affordable health insurance.
“With as many as 400,000 Virginians at risk of losing their health care with the end of the federal government’s continuous coverage requirement, people need to know what they need to do to stay in the program or to transition to other affordable health insurance,” said Freedom Virginia’s executive director Rhena Hicks. “Virginians who lose Medicaid coverage will have to pay for their medical costs out-of-pocket, including for prescription drugs, which further heightens the urgent need to pass a Prescription Drug Affordability Board and finally rein in the out-of-control costs for medicine. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted to empower an independent panel of experts to cap certain drug prices, despite the governor’s active opposition to the legislation. Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, deserves access to quality affordable health care. That’s why we need Governor Youngkin to see the light on prescription drug prices while banging the drum on Medicaid.”
Since 2021 when the Governor stated his opposition to Medicaid expansion — which he believes is “a sad thing” — it has been concerning to see that he is out of step with Virginians’ values.
Medicaid recipients should visit coverva.com or cubrevirginia.com to learn more about what they need to to remain enrolled in Medicaid or to transition to other affordable health insurance.