- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group of small business owners want Virginia House Republicans to drop their opposition to expanding publicly funded health care to low-income residents.

Lee Russell, a butcher from Fredericksburg is scheduled to deliver a letter Wednesday signed by more than 400 current and former small business owners to House Speaker William J. Howell.

The effort is designed to demonstrate there’s widespread support for expanding Medicaid eligibility. The nonprofit group Virginia Organizing helped to organize the effort.

House Republicans oppose expanding Medicaid eligibility and have said public opinion is in their favor. The Virginia chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business has said its members who own small businesses overwhelming oppose Medicaid expansion.

The fight over Medicaid expansion, which Democrats favor, has delayed passage of the state’s budget.

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