2018 was a Great Year for VBCF’s State Level Advocacy!

With the help of our dedicated volunteer advocates, VBCF had huge wins on two of our major legislative priorities this year: medicaid expansion and medical cannabis. Thank you to all our advocates who called, emailed, and met with their state legislators during VBCF’s State Advocacy days to speak out about these important issues. Policy change can be a long slog but our advocates stuck with it!

Medicaid Expansion

On May 30th, the Virginia General Assembly met in a special session and passed state Medicaid expansion as part of the biennial state budget. Now nearly 400,000 low-income Virginians will have access to affordable, quality health care including breast cancer screenings and treatment. VBCF is proud to have been a part of the Healthcare for All Virginians (HAV ) Coalition for the last six years, working to expand Medicaid. This is a great win for all Virginians.

The new Medicaid coverage will begin in early January 2019. Cover VA is designated as the main source of information for consumers and stakeholders about the new coverage.

Medical Cannabis 

During the regular session, the Virginia General Assembly passed the “Let Doctors Decide” medical cannabis oil measure, and it was signed into law on March 9th by Governor Northam. Doctors in Virginia can now recommend medical marijuana if they decide it’s the best course of treatment for patients, allowing breast cancer patients access to this potentially useful tool during their treatment journey.

Medical cannabis oil dispensaries will be set up in each of Virginia’s five health service areas. Once these facilities are operational, patients will be able to get a recommendation from their physician (hopefully by late 2019). For more information: VA NORML