Since Saturday is the last day for individuals to enroll in the health insurance marketplace, Celebrate Healthcare held its Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion Enrollfest.
Celebrate Healthcare Founder Gaylene Kanoyton said about 200 people attended the event.
“We’ve had people come in today who’ve never had healthcare before, never had health insurance before. And to see them get enrolled and come out with some type of form of insurance, they were elated,” said Kanoyton.
Ronald Wilson attended the event in order to enroll in Medicaid. He said he provides home care for his parents and helps the elderly in his neighborhood.
“I don’t have anyone to support me if I do need help and in order to help someone else, I have to have help myself,” said Wilson. “And since this opportunity is being offered it’s good to take advantage of.”
Referencing individuals like Wilson, Kanoyton and other healthcare proponents are decrying a Texas federal judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
“We have millions of people that have preexisting conditions,” said Kanoyton. “For them to lose their insurance would be a travesty to this country and would be a travesty to many families.”
However Virginia Senate Republicans announced their support for the federal judge’s decision.
“Judge Reed’s decision confirms what Virginia Senate Republicans have been saying all along: the ACA isn’t affordable and hamstrings states that want their citizens to have access to healthcare coverage choices their families can afford,” said Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R- James City).
Politics aside, Wilson said it’s about the people who need access to health care.
“I don’t know what the big stink about it is but everybody needs help somewhere somehow,” said Wilson.
While the deadline to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace is December 15, enrollment for Medicaid runs all year round.