VA Dems Criticize GOP's Attacks on Women's Health Rights
The Women’s Reproductive Health Caucus, chaired by Senator Barbara Favola and Delegate Kaye Kory, held a press conference this morning to discuss the anti-women agenda the Republicans have promoted during this legislative session. Delegate Charniele Herring, as well as Senators Northam and McEachin, also spoke on these extreme and shameful acts by the GOP.
Senator Favola, a champion of the efforts to expand Medicaid, said, “This expansion will allow up to 400,000 individuals to be eligible for health coverage. Right now, these people are getting care at the most expensive point, and when their illness is quite severe. When they must wait to get care at an emergency room because they cannot afford to go to a doctor, you and I are paying for the cost through higher premiums. This needs to stop. We all believe that when individuals are ill, they deserve to have care. That is a value Virginians hold dear, so why don’t we do this in a rational way by giving individuals coverage?”
Medicaid expansion has been an issue in the forefront of Virginia legislators, and although the Senate included this measure in its approved budget, it has received much opposition and currently has an uncertain fate in the hands of the House Budget Conferees. However, the health care benefits Senator Favola conveyed as well as the expansion’s benefits for jobs and the economy have given it traction in the General Assembly.
Moreover, the recent attempt by Governor McDonnell to amend the health benefit exchange legislation in a way that prohibits the use of private dollars in the exchange to cover abortion procedures serves as the latest infringement on women’s rights, even at the cost of dictating what people can and cannot purchase with their private money. Senator Favola said, “There’s no place for this intrusion into a business arrangement. This is a private exchange between a woman and her insurance company.”