ACS CAN Profiles Virginia Voices of those Impacted by Medicaid Program through Launch of Digital Storybook

Stories Highlight Role Medicaid Health Insurance Plays for residents, health care providers, and state economies

July 10, 2019

Today, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) launched a collection of digital stories from individuals, families and health care professionals as part of its Medicaid Covers US project. The stories feature people directly impacted by Medicaid across several states including Virginia, as they work to take care of themselves, their families and their communities. The digital storybook features the faces and stories of those who have been helped by the program, those who could benefit from the program if they were eligible and health professionals who have seen what critical role this program plays for their patients and their health systems.


ACS CAN’s Medicaid Covers US project, launched in April 2019, aims to bring together decision makers, community members and the public to have a dialogue about the critical services Medicaid provides. The project focuses on six key states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia.  Through the power of storytelling, ACS CAN intends to elevate the positive impact Medicaid has not just on beneficiaries and health care providers, but on state and local economies across the nation.


“In the fight against cancer, we know that affordable access to health care is critical, and Medicaid plays a major role in helping people get and stay healthy,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “By helping to ensure people have access to health care when they need it most, Medicaid makes it possible for people and economies to thrive.”


“Having health insurance through Medicaid helps people stay healthy, so that they can go to work, care for their families and pay the bills,” said Brian Donohue, ACS CAN government relations director in Virginia. “It helps ensure kids here in Virginia can get services like early screening and detection that help them manage health issues like asthma or vision problems, allowing them to better participate and succeed in school. It helps keep hospital doors open to provide lifesaving care for people with cancer and other diseases.”


Given the important role Medicaid programs play in states, it’s not surprising that research commissioned by ACS CAN as part of the project found the program has wide support from the general public across all party lines. The poll found 92% of people feel that Medicaid is an important program; 72% support raising Medicaid’s income eligibility levels; and that changes to Medicaid programs are unpopular – for example, a majority (7 in 10) of voters --on both sides of the aisle –agree that their states should not rush into imposing new reporting requirements as a condition of receiving coverage.


Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income children and adults, seniors and people with disabilities. It helps millions of Americans get and stay healthy -- allowing them to see a doctor when they are sick, get regular check-ups, buy medications and go to the hospital. Roughly 2.3 million Americans with a history of cancer rely on Medicaid coverage for their care. In Virginia, 45,440 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. For many of them, access to care through Medicaid could be the difference between life and death.


Interview soundbites and b-roll footage of Virginia residents featured in the digital storybook are available to media here:  Virginia


Additional information on individuals featured in the sound bites is available here.


For more information on ACS CAN's Medicaid Covers US campaign or to join the conversation, visit


The Medicaid Covers US public education project is supported by a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and funding from ACS and ACS CAN. ACS CAN is investing additional funding to support ongoing advocacy work across the country.


About ACS CAN:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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