RICHMOND — 55 years ago today, President Johnson signed into law the bill that led to creation of Medicare and Medicaid. These vital programs provide health care to tens of millions of Americans every year. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Virginia Democrats voted to expand Medicaid in 2018, which has brought coverage to an additional 441,000 Virginians so far.
But Republican Delegate Nick Freitas, running for Congress in Virginia's 7th Congressional district, has consistently tried to undermine Medicaid, opposing affordable health care for tens of thousands of people he hopes to represent. On today's anniversary, Virginia Democrats slammed Freitas's abysmal record on health care:
"Nick Freitas has never let a good policy get in the way of his extreme right-wing voting record, and health care is no exception. While other Republicans joined Democrats to literally save lives by expanding Medicaid, Freitas held out. During a global pandemic, Nick Freitas's goals of repealing the ACA and ending Medicaid expansion would be an outright disaster for tens of thousands of people in Virginia's 7th district," said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.
As a Delegate, Freitas repeatedly opposed Medicaid expansion in Virginia. He even criticized members of his own party for voting for the expansion in a Facebook Live video this year. Medicaid expansion has been particularly valuable to Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from the state shows that over 40,000 new enrollees have gained access to Medicaid in the past three months alone.
Freitas also has a vocal history of opposition to the Affordable Care Act and has vowed to fully repeal the law. In 2018 he called the law a "cancer" and promised to abolish it. Full repeal of the ACA would mean 642,000 Virginians — including 74,000 in VA-7 — would lose their health coverage, and nearly 3.5 million Virginians would see their protections for preexisting conditions disappear.