STAUNTON -- Grassroots activists canvassed Staunton neighborhoods on Saturday about health care.
Volunteers with "Americans for Prosperity" knocked on doors Saturday morning, trying to get neighbors to contact their state legislators and urge them to oppose expanding Medicaid - pounding the pavement - and on doors - trying to get people to open up to their message.
"[Expanding Medicaid] actually will create longer lines and probably lower the overall quality of health care in the state," said Gina Tate, one of the volunteers.
Americans for Prosperity oppose the Medicaid expansion, a key piece of President Obama's health care law.
"There's been a lot of things said, a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion," President Obama said earlier this week in support of the law. "But there are few things more fundamental to economic security of the middle class, and everybody who's trying to get into the middle class, than health care."
Armed with statistics - and plenty of literature - volunteers hoped to get their message across the city, asking people to contact their state legislators and let them know they are against expanding Medicaid. The expansion was a prominent topic in Wednesday's debate between the candidates for governor.
"And if we don't take the Medicaid expansion money, then many of our rural hospitals could be jeopardized," said Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe.
"A 40 percent expansion of Medicaid is not the way to help make it work better," Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli said.
Volunteers said they want to do what they can to help in the fight against the Affordable Care Act.
"We're kind of the front lines," said Timothy Wright. "So for me I want to be able to make the biggest difference. And so I'm out here today."
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a new eligibility group would be created for Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. The group would include people 19 to 65 whose income is 133 percent below the federal poverty level.
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