Edds: Virginia’s long history of refusing to pay

Margaret Edds
Margaret Edds

It was good to see a column from Margaret Edds in The Virginian-Pilot last Sunday. There are few who know Virginia politics like she does. I always learn something.

The current opposition [to Medicaid expansion] is not an outlier to Virginia politics. Rather, it fits within a long continuum, stretching back at least to the early 20th century, in which the state insists that it cannot afford this or that social program before either managing to do so or benefiting without paying our share.

Why am I not surprised that Harry Byrd’s Virginia was the last state to join Social Security? That Virginia has to be dragged into the present, kicking and screaming, is typical.

You’d think our legislature would learn something from our past, if nothing else but the definition of insanity.




8 thoughts on “Edds: Virginia’s long history of refusing to pay

  1. Wait — we had the option to stay OUT of Social Security?!

    Boy, wouldn’t THAT be nice. Too bad we cannot opt out of the increased taxes that will accompany the Medicare expansion whether we expand coverage in Virginia or not.

  2. Vivian – why is it that “progress” to you means participating in yet another federal, centralized program? I’m wondering when the Democrats are going to start calling for the US to contribute to globalized social security and international health care? After all, there are folks who are working hard in Haiti until an old age with no safety net and children in Nairobi with no healthcare. Right? How far do we need to go?

    1. I don’t know about Vivian, Jim, but I would have been more than content if, in lieu of a federal program, the General Assembly had taken it upon itself to carefully craft a program tailored to the needs of Virginians.

      But let’s be honest with ourselves, Jim. That possibility was never even on the table, right? Not with the Party of “No” asserting uninterrupted control of the HoD since 2000. It’s not just medicare, either–we’re the state that experimented with the $1,000 speeding ticket in lieu of finding a dedicated funding source for transportation.

      So maybe we could drop the pretense that there was ever a meaningful choice between federal action and state action–we had a choice between federal action and state inaction. If, in the future, you would like not to be preempted through the Supremacy Clause by federal laws passed by Congressmen from California and Massachusetts, please feel free to jump on your blog and explain to your readers why maybe it’s better meet Virginia Democrats halfway in an effort to find a solution before the Federal Government thrusts a solution upon you.

      1. Why does the government need to be doing this at all? Are there no charities that feed the poor? Are there not free clinics? Are there not charitable hospitals? What social ill does ANY government program purportedly address that is not already addressed by charities?

  3. At this point I’m convinced this has more to do with Speaker Howell being unable to protect his incumbents from primary challenges and the GOP caucus being scared out of their wits by what’s happening internally in the party than anything else. If there was any hope that they would cave, it evaporated along with Linwood Cobb’s district chairmanship in Short Pump last weekend.

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