AFP-VA Disappointed Governor-Elect Northam Walks Back Comments on Medicaid Expansion

Jan 11, 2018 by AFP

RICHMOND, VA – Americans for Prosperity-Virginia (AFP-VA) today expressed disappointment in comments made by Governor-elect Northam on Tuesday voicing support for expanding Medicaid. Americans For Prosperity has long been opposed to Medicaid expansion that will add hundreds of thousands of able-bodied adults to an already broken system.

Just recently, Governor-elect Northam stated his apprehension towards obligating the state to the enormous costs Medicaid expansion would have on the Virginia budget.

“It’s disappointing Governor-elect Northam has done an about-face on sensible, measured approaches to Medicaid. Expanding this program to include able-bodied, working-age adults will have the adverse effect of helping our most vulnerable populations,” said AFP-VA State Director JC Hernandez. “The enormous hole Medicaid expansion would leave in our budget would crowd out state programs that serve the truly needy. Instead of doubling down on this failing government health program, the governor should embrace commonsense, state-based reforms that can decrease costs and increase access to quality health care for all Virginians.”

Background:

Medicaid was intended to help just the most vulnerable Americans like the elderly and the disabled, but its expansion to able-bodied, childless, working-age adults would create an unsustainable burden on taxpayers and crowd out resources for those truly needy populations.

Medicaid is simply not cost effective. Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Dartmouth found that Medicaid recipients only receive 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.

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, “Why John Kasich Is Fighting the New Health-Care Bill,” National Review, 9/19/17)
  • 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, 9/27/17)

 

For further information or an interview, reach Lorenz Isidro at LIsidro@afphq.org or (703) 887-7724. 

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org

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