AFP-VA Applauds Senate Committee Voting Down Medicaid Expansion Bills

Jan 25, 2018 by AFP

RICHMOND, VA – Americans for Prosperity-Virginia (AFP-VA) today applauded the Senate Education and Health Committee for voting down Medicaid expansion bill SB 572, which incorporated all other Medicaid expansion legislation being considered by the committee. AFP-VA, the state’s leading free-market organization, has been at the forefront of opposing Medicaid expansion, which would trap the least fortunate in a broken system and drive up state spending to unsustainable levels.

“When our state faced a barrage of Medicaid expansion measures, our activists doubled down and were instrumental in helping to kill this harmful bill, making tens of thousands of phone calls encouraging their neighbors to urge their legislators to vote against these bills. These bills would have blown a hole in the budget deficit and threatened the most vulnerable population Medicaid was intended to help by prioritizing able-bodied, working age adults,” said AFP-VA State Director JC Hernandez. “We applaud the committee for refusing to expand a broken system that offers poor quality of care to those who need it most. This is just the beginning, and our activists stand ready to mobilize and fight back against any more dangerous Medicaid expansion measures we’ll see in the coming weeks.”

Background: 

AFP activists have made tens of thousands of phone calls encouraging constituents to urge their legislators to vote against these dangerous bills.

Virginians sent hundreds of emails directly to legislators urging them to vote against Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid is simply not cost effective. Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Dartmouth found that Medicaid recipients only receive about 20 to 40 cents of benefit for every dollar spent on Medicaid. Insurance companies, not low-income citizens, are the biggest winners of Medicaid expansion. Kaiser Health News recently reported that Medicaid insurer profits more than tripled in 34 states and the District of Columbia after Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

A recent Richmond Times-Dispatch column suggests that Gov. Northam and the legislature could pursue improved access to health care without Medicaid expansion by expanding scope of practice for nurse practitioners or repealing the state’s Certificate of Public Need requirements.

Also, states that have expanded Medicaid have experienced exploding costs and general failure:

  • Ohio: National Review published an article highlighting Medicaid Expansion failure in Ohio.
    • “Ohio’s Medicaid-expansion enrollment was 720,000 in fiscal year 2017, at an average cost of $437 million per month. Since January 2014, the expansion has cost state and federal taxpayers a total of $14.9 billion. Because Kasich so dramatically underestimated enrollment, state costs have already doubled his projections. Federal spending on Ohio’s Medicaid program (including traditional and expansion enrollees) increased by 48 percent from 2013 to this year, while state spending increased by 14 percent.” (Jason Hart, Opinion, “Why John Kasich Is Fighting The New Health-Care Bill,” National Review, 09/19/17)
  • Massachusetts: Modern Healthcare published an article highlighting Massachusetts’ struggle to cover the rising costs of Medicaid expansion:
    • “As the federal government no longer covers the total cost of expansion, Massachusetts said it needs to slim down the program because the costs are unsustainable.”
    • “‘At 40% of the commonwealth’s budget, MassHealth’s continued growth will constrain the state budget unless significant reforms are implemented and key aspects of the program are restructured,’ Marylou Sudders, the state’s health and human services secretary, said in a Sept. 20 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.” (Virgil Dickson, “Massachusetts Seeks To Move Adults Off Medicaid, Limit Drug Coverage,” Modern Healthcare, 09/27/17)