The official Virginia State Seal (created in 1776)ProgressVA today announced Speaker William Howell as the recipient of the organization’s 2013 “Turkey of the Year” award, in recognition of his staunch opposition to expanding Medicaid to up to 400,000 low-income Virginians. A program expansion would primarily benefit the working poor, while saving Virginia money and creating jobs. Howell succeeds Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the third honoree.  “A program that can help our neighbors access health care while saving money and creating jobs for our state should be a no-brainer,” said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. “Speaker Howell’s bird-brained opposition to expanding Medicaid to 400,000 Virginians, including the working poor and veterans, has earned him our 2013 Turkey of the Year award. Congratulations, or something.”

“Whereas, the Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity for Virginia to expand the Medicaid program while the federal government pays the vast majority of the cost;

and Whereas, expanding Medicaid in Virginia could help up to 400,000 low-income Virginians access quality and affordable health care;

and Whereas, expanding Medicaid would primarily benefit the working poor who are employed but make too little to afford health insurance;

and Whereas, expanding Medicaid would save the Commonwealth money while creating jobs and driving economic growth;

and Whereas, expanding Medicaid is crucial for Virginia hospitals in order to recoup the costs of treating Virginians who are unable to pay for care;

and Whereas, in this season of Thanksgiving we think of our neighbors and our community;

and Whereas, Speaker William Howell has demonstrated staunch opposition to expanding the Medicaid program to benefit Virginia families;

and Whereas, Speaker William Howell has led his caucus in the House of Delegates to obstruct expansion;

Now Therefore,

On this day of November 26, 2013, ProgressVA does hereby confer and award Speaker William Howell the honor and accomplishment of “Turkey of the Year”, as recognized by this proclamation.”