Cover Southwest Virginia

by mattva13

What I have compiled below are statistics on Medicaid expansion in Southwest Virginia. In total, there’s 34,730 citizens in these 22 rural and sparsely populated areas of the Commonwealth. In total, there’s around 400,000 citizens in Virginia that would potentially be covered via expansion. Not only would it cover these people who desperately need insurance, it would also bring in billions in revenue, hundreds of millions in savings, and create tens of thousands of jobs. What is not reflected here is that rural hospitals are in danger of closing without expansion.

Lee Regional Medical in Lee County, one of the poorest county’s in the state, shut down in October of 2013 and has been closed ever since. This was the only hospital in the county with some patients now having to travel to nearby Wise County for treatment and emergencies. It’s a 35-45 minute drive from the closest hospital, Norton Community, to Pennington Gap where Lee Regional was located. The failure to expand is killing people in this area where access to healthcare is already extremely limited.

Thousands of people in this area will be standing for hours, sleeping in their car, and waiting in the hot summer sun to line up to receive healthcare at the Remote Area Medical clinics that make their way through Appalachia every year for over a decade. This year it will visit Bristol, TN, Lee County, Wise County, and Buchanan County. The annual RAM event in Wise is one of the largest in the country. It will take place at its normal location: the fairgrounds. Tents will be put up, horse stalls will be turned into makeshift areas for medical treatment, and many people, young and old, will sleep in their cars to ensure a favorable spot in the line as treatment is first-come, first-serve. There’s no guarantee you’ll receive care if resources run out before the three-day clinic is over. People living in this part of Virginia are much more likely to die from numerous potentially preventable causes. We are 27% more likely to die from heart disease, 46% more likely to die from chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, 47% more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza, 34% more likely to die from diabetes, 62% more likely to die from chronic liver disease, 61% more likely to die from unintentional injuries, and 72% more likely to commit suicide. We are dying. 34,730 citizens could receive help and not potentially becoming one of those statistics. Here are the number of people Medicaid expansion could help. Below that are the number per Virginia House and Senate district and the names of the Republican politicians that don’t give a shit about any of them.

County: Amount of citizens potentially covered: Population:
Bland 290 6,735
City of Bristol 1,000 17,341
Buchanan 1,300 23,597
Carroll 2,000 29,883
Dickenson 880 15,486
Floyd 830 15,528
City of Galax 550 7,035
Giles 860 16,925
Grayson 990 15,161
Lee 1,500 25,185
Montgomery 6,300 96,207
City of Norton 230 3,958
Patrick 1,100 18,368
Pulaski 1,700 34,507
City of Radford 1,300 17,184
Russell 1,700 28,264
Scott 1,200 22,640
Smyth 1,800 31,652
Tazewell 2,400 44,103
Washington 2,800 54,907
Wise 2,400 40,589
Wythe 1,600 29,344


Virginia Delegate # of uninsured/non-elderly 138% over Federal Povery Line
*Terry Kilgore (R) 5,200 constituents
*Israel O’Qiunn (R) 5,100 constituents
*Will Morefield (R) 4,500 constituents
Joseph Yost (R) 4,000 constituents
Jeff Campbell (R) 4,800 constituents
*Todd Pillion (R) 5,100 constituents
Nick Rush (R) 4,100 constituents

*District includes a locality that hosts a RAM event


Virginia Senator # of Uninsured/Non-elderly 138% 0ver Federal Povery Line
*Bill Carrico (R) 11,900 constituents
*Ben Chafin (R) 12,000 constituents
Bill Stanley (R) 14,100 constituents
**John Edwards (D) 12,000 constituents
Ralph Smith (R) 7,900 constituents

*District includes a locality that hosts a RAM event

** Supports expansion

–  Source