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Local Advocates Say Medicaid Expansion Critical for Mental Health Care

Local advocates are calling on members of the General Assembly to support the expansion of Medicaid to help pay for community-based mental health services.

The need for more community-based mental health services continues to grow. But Executive Director for Voices for Virginia’s Children Margaret Nimmo Holland says there aren’t sufficient state funds to keep up. “When we look at available resources, we know that it will take years and years if we go at it with just state general fund dollars,” Holland says. “And when we look around, the largest source of untapped dollars for the behavioral health system are through the ACA, through Medicaid expansion.”

Earlier this month, the Senate Finance Committee recommended the launch of a “Medicaid redesign initiative” to overhaul – and possibly expand – Medicaid.

The Commonwealth Institute estimates nearly 16,000 Richmond residents alone would gain access to healthcare through Medicaid expansion.