Local group hosts vigil in support of Medicaid expansion

Poor People’s Campaign Digital

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Mackenzie Wanicka

The Tuscaloosa chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign teamed up with the Nonviolent Medicaid Army Monday evening, holding a candlelight vigil in support of Medicaid expansion.

Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church hosted the vigil in Tuscaloosa, while five other cities across Alabama participated in similar events.

Local Poor People’s Campaign Co-leader Dr. Pamela Foster said Medicaid expansion can hasten recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensure those who can’t afford insurance or medical care stay healthy.

“It will definitely help with access to care,” Foster said. “We know because of the lack of expansion, rural hospitals have closed. That’s detrimental to people who live in rural areas. Because of COVID, people lost jobs and lost insurance, increasing the number of people who are uninsured, so we really are pushing for Medicaid expansion now.”

Brown Memorial Presbyterian Pastor Joseph Scrivner said when people do good for others, good things come to them. 

“Loving our neighbor means advocating for things that will improve their life, and I believe that Medicaid expansion would be an improvement for life and access to health care for a quarter of a million people, at least, in our state,” Scrivner said.

Alabama is one of 12 states that have not yet approved an expansion to Medicaid offered as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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