Stop Medicaid Expansion in Virginia!
As you know, Medicaid is a broken, costly system that is in desperate need of reform. Adding 400,000 Virginians to the system is exactly the wrong policy for Virginia.
Under President Obama’s health care law, Medicaid eligibility would vastly expand to all individuals below 133% of the federal poverty level — $30,000 for a family of four. An estimated 12 million people will join Medicaid starting in 2014. In order to encourage states to participate in this expansion, the federal government will pick up 100% of all expenses for the first three years for the newly-eligible individuals, with the rate falling to 90% in 2020.
This may seem like a way to grant access to healthcare, but due to Medicaid’s complex structure, many doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients. According to a recent study in the journal Health Affairs, 24% of doctors in Virginia do not accept new Medicaid patients along with 31% of doctors nationally. This has dramatic effects on Medicaid patients. In fact, some studies have proven that the uninsured have better health outcomes than Medicaid patients – illustrating just how poor the Medicaid system currently operates.
Here’s a sample message you can use:
I am writing to respectfully request that you reject Medicaid expansion for Virginia by opposing any amendment to the budget to include expansion to Medicaid.
The most important issue in the Medicaid expansion is the human cost. If Virginia were to expand Medicaid, it would railroad hundreds of thousands of Virginians into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system with limited medical options.
Now it is up to Virginia to decide whether it will expand this broken, costly program. Given the difficult budget choices the state has already had to make in recent years to balance its books, as required by law, the answer is very simple: Virginia should join the growing list of states choosing not to expand. To embrace expansion would crowd out vital funding to our schools and universities, to rebuilding our roads and bridges, and to those social welfare programs to which our state is already committed.
Also, if we expand Medicaid, things will get worse: as federal Medicaid goes deeper into red ink, the federal government will likely reduce its support, leaving Virginia patients on the hook to pay ever-increasing hospital bed taxes.
Again, please reject the Virginia Medicaid expansion by voting “no” on any amendment or budget that includes Medicaid expansion.
Right now, before the General Assembly they are discussing whether to expand Medicaid. The Senate has already passed expansion. It up to us to make sure that the Virginia House of Delegates and Governor McDonnell continue to oppose expansion of Medicaid.
Remember, you must act very quickly. The future of our Commonwealth depends on it!
As always, thank you for standing up for freedom in Virginia!