Hundreds rally on State Capitol grounds for healthcare - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Hundreds rally on State Capitol grounds for healthcare

Posted: Updated:
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

They all came with one goal and that's to send a message to law makers: expand Medicaid so that thousands of people who don't qualify for the program can get the medical care that they need.

Veteran Mercedies Harris knows how it feels to go without health care and not have the funds to get it. He was recently diagnosed with a rare eye disease and doesn't qualify for the current Medicaid program.

"I'm going blind and I have no coverage and my medicine costs about $409 a month for the rest of my life," Harris said.

Harris was not alone Saturday, several people with similar concerns addressed spectators on the Capitol grounds.

"When you are able to be with a group of people who understand how you feel and can help you feel hopeful about the possibility of changing that situation it's a honor to be here," Roslyn Gadley said.

However, people on the other side of this issue were not far away. The group Americans for Prosperity were also at the rally to express opposition to the expansion.

Over the phone, State Director Sean Lansing, told us that the group wants the current Medicaid program to be fixed before expanding or aiding more people through a "broken" system.

He says they also want to avoid a state government shut-down by agreeing on a clean spending bill that funds priorities. VCU senior Katherine Apple agrees with Lansing.

"I think what we need to do is start with what we already have and fix the Medicaid we have before we go on and more," Lansing said.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

Powered by WorldNow