What Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant's opposition to Medicaid expansion means
By Keya Vakil
June 20, 2019

Virginia’s historic Medicaid expansion caused headaches for the handful of Republicans who voted for it during this year’s primaries. But what does it mean for Republicans who didn’t support expansion?

State Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) is one of those Republicans. She repeatedly voted against Medicaid expansion, even though it would have benefited an estimated 6,600 of her constituents, according to research from The Commonwealth Institute, a non-partisan economic think tank.

Her opposition to Medicaid expansion put her out of step not only with the needs of many of her constituents, but the priorities of most Virginians. A recent survey from the Altarum Healthcare Value Hub and the Virginia Center for Health Innovation found that 63% of Virginians want government to address healthcare in the upcoming year. 

During her 2015 Senate campaign, Dunnavant criticized those who supported expansion as “crybaby politicians.”

Dunnavant also said she wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to American Bridge 21st Century, a left-wing Super PAC. If that happened up to 685,000 Virginians would lose their healthcare, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It would also cost the state $18 billion in federal healthcare spending over ten years, and lead to the loss of over 10,000 healthcare-related jobs.

Photo © VCU Capital News Service

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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