In my research, some of which appeared in my op-ed last week, I was struck by the fact that Virginia ranks 48th in per capita Medicaid spending while being ranked seventh in per capita spending. The governor indicated in his State of the Commonwealth address that we will not participate in an expansion of Medicaid. Perhaps the governor has information that is different from that provided in the Chmura Economics & Analytics analysis – but if so, he’s not been forthcoming with it.
It was interesting that Democrats, in their response to the governor’s remarks, cited the statistics from that report in urging the Medicaid expansion. (And no, I didn’t know that they would when I was writing my column Wednesday morning.)
I fully understand the concern regarding the federal government reimbursement for the expansion in the out-years. But that doesn’t mean we should reject it now. If it turns out that the federal government reimbursement drops to its existing rate – 50% – there is nothing to stop the General Assembly from revisiting it at that time and reducing coverage. But for now, it seems they should expand Medicaid.
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