Virginia Lawmakers Vote to Increase Access to Health Coverage for Low-Income State Residents

June 1, 2018

A bi-partisan group of Virginia state legislators voted to accept federal dollars to increase access to health coverage through Medicaid. The following statement by Brian Donohue, Virginia government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, applauds this decision: 


"This week’s bi-partisan decision by the state legislature to increase access to health coverage through Medicaid is a win for Virginia on many levels. Not only does this expand healthcare for 400,000 low-income Virginians, but it also builds on the bipartisan record we have seen this session.


"Cancer patients, survivors and volunteers across the state are praising lawmakers for passing a budget that will broaden access to health coverage through Medicaid – a move that would provide thousands of currently uninsured people in the state with access to lifesaving preventive care and treatments for cancer and other serious diseases. 


"It's been a long journey to get to this day. Our dedicated volunteers have gone to town hall meetings, met with their legislators, held rallies at the State Capitol, and reached out to their lawmakers through social media to ask them to ensure more people have access to the critical services they need. 


"The passage of this budget will improve access to health care for low-income Virginians, meaning more people will be able to see a doctor regularly, access preventive services such as Pap tests, mammograms and smoking cessation aids and avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room. Access to these critical services enhances the likelihood of detecting cancer at an earlier, more curable stage that is far less expensive to treat. 


"We applaud Gov. Northam and the legislative leaders in the House and Senate for their bi-partisan leadership in this debate and look forward to the governor signing this bill into law, giving individuals and families across Virginia the security of knowing they have access to proven cancer screenings and treatments they otherwise could not afford." 


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit


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