Mary Richards lives in the suburbs of Richmond. She shares what it’s like to live in the healthcare coverage gap in Virginia.
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Virginia Consumer Voices for Healthcare (VCV) is Virginia’s multi-constituency consumer coalition focused on the expansion and improvement of health care in the state. The goal of Virginia Consumer Voices is to build and sustain a broad-based consumer-focused coalition which includes patients, community and religious organizations, small businesses, organized labor, community health centers, and advocacy organizations to support the expansion and improvement of health care in Virginia.
Education and Outreach
Since our forming, VCV has provided community education on the changing health care landscape. VCV staff partners with statewide organizations and local community organizations to inform individuals about the Affordable Care Act and closing the coverage gap through Medicaid Expansion. VCV staff conducts presentations, hosts calls, writes a weekly newsletter, creates fact sheets, and writes letters-to-the-editor in order to educate Virginians about the healthcare system. Check out our health reform resources.
Every year, VCV attends the Virginia General Assembly session to advocate for health reform that would benefit Virginians. VCV supports numerous lobby days by providing organizations with information on healthcare bills and works closely with other consumer advocacy organizations. Our past legislative priorities have included full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, creation of a state-based Marketplace and other laws that affect healthcare consumers. VCV’s continuing legislative priority for is to close the health insurance coverage gap to insure up to an additional 400,000 Virginians. You can read more about this priority here.
VCV'S History and Our Current Work:
In 2011, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build a coalition that would bring a consumer voice to health reform efforts in Virginia. The Center convened representatives from the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, AARP – Virginia and the Virginia chapter of the American Heart Association to guide the development of the coalition and, in January 2012, Virginia Consumer Voices for Healthcare (VCV) was launched.
Since its inception, VCV has worked to educate and engage members of faith communities, nonprofit and community organizations, community health centers, and other individual health care consumers in health care innovation and reform efforts.
Moving forward, VCV will continue robust outreach efforts to ensure that all Virginians take advantage of the coverage options available to them. In addition, we will increase our efforts to engage leaders at the community level to identify challenges and provide guidance for solutions and opportunities for innovation and reform.