Virginia family, senator fight for Medicaid coverage

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Meet Anna. The energetic five-year-old loves singing songs and playing with her toys. But just a few years ago she wasn’t able to.

“Anna got most of the medical issues from the premature birth," Angie Voyles from Haymarket, VA said.

Angie Voyles is Anna’s foster mother. She said Anna faced complex medical issues including cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and developmental delays. Anna later developed a bone condition that caused over 30 bones to break in 18 months.

“Without this piece of equipment she is in the hospital 75 percent of her life," Voyles added.

Voyles said without Medicaid her family would go bankrupt trying to keep their little girl alive. She’s joining other parents and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine in pushing to keep Medicaid benefits as-is.

“When you talk about Medicaid who are we talking about I think most people hear Medicaid and they don’t immediately think of a child that’s not what they think of but 60% of Virginian’s who receive Medicaid are kids," Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said.

Kaine said more than one million Virginians rely on Medicaid. More than half of them are children. He’s concerned the GOP healthcare plan could weaken families’ benefits. Republican’s said their intent is the exact opposite.

“We’re not talking about cutting the existing Medicaid program we’re talking about reducing the amount of increases in future years," Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said.

The GOP healthcare plan will continue Medicaid expansion for three years, the roll it back. Rounds said the plan will actually increase funding in the long term and provide more money for Medicaid coverage than Obamacare previously did. He said families like the Voyles, won’t need to worry.

“The plan is to take care of these individuals," Rounds added.

Despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans here on Capitol Hill, Republican leadership plans to move forward with their bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing today — he’s delaying the start of August recess.

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