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Va. GOP rejects governor’s latest bid to expand Medicaid

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe blasted Republican legislators Wednesday after they rejected his budget amendment to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

“Virginia Republicans block #Medicaid expansion once again,” McAuliffe tweeted after the General Assembly reconvened to consider legislation that the governor vetoed or wanted amended.

“400k Virginians remain w/o healthcare. We’re losing $6.6mil every day,” McAuliffe wrote after the GOP-controlled House of Delegates rebuffed his Medicaid proposal.

McAuliffe and other Democrats reiterated their call for Medicaid expansion after the U.S. House of Representatives last month failed to reach an agreement on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. That federal law, also known as Obamacare, encouraged states to expand Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income Americans.

The proposed amendment would have given McAuliffe the authority in October to direct the Department of Medical Assistance Services to expand Medicaid if the Affordable Care Act is still in place. State officials say the expansion would cover about 400,000 low-income Virginians.

Every year since he was elected in 2013, McAuliffe has advocated expanding Medicaid. And every year, Republican lawmakers have voted against the idea.

“We rejected expansion in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and again in 2017 because it was the wrong policy for the commonwealth,” the GOP House leadership said in a statement Wednesday. “The lack of action in Washington has not changed that and in fact, the uncertainty of federal health policy underscores the need to be cautious over the long term.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, states can expand Medicaid to cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $16,640 for an individual. About half of the 31 states that accepted Medicaid expansion have Republican governors. Earlier in the session, Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, outlined the Republicans’ position on the issue.

“Our Republican caucus believes​ ​in m​inimal government, in government doing only what it must,” Massie said.

He said Medicaid is the largest entitlement program in the state and costs are rising.

“As such, we cannot prudently responsibly expand such an entitlement program at this time,” Massie said. “We must reform it and look for the Virginia way. And that is exactly what we’re doing in this house.”

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a practicing pediatric neurologist, pushed for McAuliffe’s proposed amendment just before the veto session began Wednesday.

“We need to do the right thing here in Virginia. We need to go upstairs, both in the House and the Senate, and pass the governor’s amendment to move forward with Medicaid expansion,” Northam said.

Liberal organizations like Progress Virginia were angered by the GOP’s decision on the matter.

“Health care is a basic human right. It is beyond outrageous that House Republicans have prioritized petty partisan politics over real human lives by refusing to expand Medicaid,” Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, said in a prepared statement. “These politicians should look in the eyes of individuals they’ve denied health care access and explain their vote.”

The issue is likely to remain contentious as McAuliffe finishes his term and Virginia elects a new governor in November. Northam is competing with former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello for the Democratic nomination. Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination: Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach; and Corey Stewart, who chairs the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

“I will continue to fight for access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Virginians along with the Governor and our administration,” Northam said in a statement.

Comments


Dear Rude,  No matter what the publication there are extensive wait times in Europe and Canada.  You may not be willing to admit that fact though.
Yes please continue your trips to Canada.  We are very friendly and love to take your money. We need it.  Thanks You might want to check out the link below, so that on your next visit you will be able to ask the right questions.


I will be so glad when this person is out of office.  No need for any other words.


Do some research?

Funnily enough, ‘had enough!’ I’d googled your previous post before I commented. You know, the cut and paste from 4/10 at 3:30 PM.

As it turns out some of the text you so nicely cut and pasted came directly from the “World Socialist Website” who were in fact critical of the British NHS. I didn’t bother directly responding.

Is this the sort of source you meant to site on this forum, because I don’t think many of your fellow Canadians who are working to deny us Virginians of Federal Medicaid dollars, well it doesn’t seem like a very convincing argument they’d be trying to make.

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet any of your fellow Canadian citizens on our most recent trip to Canada who were unhappy with their healthcare and preferred our system.

At this point I’d prefer to travel to Canada rather than move but who knows? Everyone is so friendly eh?


Dear Rude Loudoun,  Maybe you need to start asking Canadian and Europeans how they like their health care. I am Canadian…and the vast majority of citizens are greatly concerned over wait times and basic health care.  By the way; if you feel the USA system is not up to your standard, try moving to Canada…
Maybe you should get out more. Do some research and ask those involved.


You guys are funny.

Unlike the vast majority of my Loudoun neighbors, I have a passport and actually go to Canada. I’ve never met a single person who’d trade their health care arrangements for the for-profit corporate model we labor under in the US.

Try to get out more- the world won’t seem as scary and you might learn something. There’s more to life than sitting in Sterling yelling at people to get off your lawn.


Dear Ashburn Resident,  below are the true facts on Health Care wait times in Canada.

CTVNews.ca staff
Published Wednesday, November 23, 2016 5:30AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 23, 2016 10:03PM EST
A survey by the Fraser Institute found a median wait of 20 weeks for “medically necessary” treatments and procedures in 2016 – the longest-recorded wait time since the think tank began tracking wait times.
That’s more than double the wait times reported in 1993, when the right-leaning think tank began tracking the issue in Canada.
The survey looked at total wait times faced by patients starting from the time they received a referral from a general practitioner, to the consultation with a specialist, to “when the patient ultimately receives treatment.”
Median wait time by province in 2016:
New Brunswick: 38.8 weeks
Nova Scotia: 34. 8
P.E.I: 31.4
Newfoundland and Labrador: 26
British Columbia: 25.2
Alberta: 22.9
Manitoba: 20.6
Quebec: 18.9
Saskatchewan: 16.6
Ontario: 15.6
I am betting you never waited this long in a US Hospital ER for treatment. 
Wait times have increased in Europe also.  See below:
Waiting times at five-year high in British National Health Service
By Mark Blackwood and Ajanta Silva
19 October 2013
Thousands of patients across the UK are facing long delays, exceeding the national target of treatment within 18 weeks of a problem being identified.Waiting times for National Health Service (NHS) treatment now stand at a five-year high. NHS England, the public body charged with overseeing delivery and implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, has revealed that 240,000 patients in England within the last 12 months have been added to the ever growing waiting list—2.9 million people across the UK.
I am sure you are paying through the nose for your employer health care and that is due to the rise in premiums via ACH. As Jonathan Gruber stated:The law passed on ‘stupidity of the American voter’.  I have ask several people, several times: What is the flavor of the Kool Aid?? Also; Yahoo on the Brexit and the 2016 Voters in the United States of America


Mr. Ericson:  good idea, especially if we have a pandemic, or tainted water supply or other major health issue or if you lose your job.  And BTW, I don’t want my money paying for your kids education, the transportation system you use, your social security or any other publicly funded service you take advantage of.

Your attitude is perfectly fine….but only if you are a recluse who is totally self reliant.  Otherwise, you are just another self interested “taker” who doesn’t want to accept responsibility for his existence in civil society.


quit spending my money on healthcare for others


loudoun4trump, notapajamabo and others who only can criticize.  Stop wasting our space and time with your content-less posts.  Make constructive arguments, explain why government shouldn’t help the less fortunate, explain why healthcare should not be universal, explain why we as a collective society should care little about anyone other than ourselves….


Healthcare IS complicated and isn’t perfect anywhere, but here are some facts:  Canadians spend half as much on healthcare as the US and have much better outcomes.  Politicians don’t suggest getting rid of the national healthcare systems in Canada or Great Britain, because they would be ousted by voters. The numbers of Canadians and Britons who would get rid of their systems are in the single digits.  Oh, and human beings become ill every day with conditions that have nothing to do with how they eat or exercise.  Many veterans are happy with the care they have received at VA hospitals.  Try to privatize medicare in the US and you will see millions of enraged seniors rise up against the “Paul Ryans” in congress. I have waited more times than I wish to count in an emergency room or for an appointment with my PCP or a specialist.  I have always had employer-sponsored health insurance (and I pay through the nose for my portion of the premium.)  But this is not to be blamed on the affordable care act.  Premiums were rising at much higher rates before the enactment of the ACA.  Health care will never be affordable in our country until the profit motive for drug companies, insurers and hospitals is taken out of the equation.


I hope we never join the “advanced nations of the world” regarding Health Care.  It if very obvious some people have never experienced illness in these advanced nations.  For reference: in Canada you wait almost 2 years to have a life saving surgery and are very lucky if you survive the wait.  Oh What?? This sounds like the USA VA Hospitals..run by the Government!!!  As we have all seen the economy is getting better, job opportunities are increasing. Insurance is available via employers.  Health Care needs to change from Care to Education. Teaching people how to eat healthy, what daily exercise can do for you.  Get of the couch and make a difference in your life.


Great News!  headline should read GOP rejects Governors bid to expand waste fraud and abuse…


If you want expanded Medicaid, move to Maryland. Problem solved.


You PJ Boys keep blaming Trump and the GOP for your higher premiums. HELLO!!!!! It’s Obama’s responsibility on why you are paying higher premiums. Did you ever hear of Obamacare?


We will join the other advanced nations of the world and ensure health care for all.  Single payer health care is our future.  It is only a matter of time.


Thanks Virginia GOP.  I can continue paying Federal taxes to support people in other states that have Medicaid expansion and get nothing for that.  Then I can pay higher premiums for my insurance because many of the people who would use Medicaid will show up in the emergency room with no money or insurance. 

This is winning?


Health care via the Government is just another FREE BE. The State of Virginia and the Federal Government need to step back and let the individual take care of themselves and their families.  McAuliffe will be out of office and the residents of Virginia will be paying for his GIVE AWAY.


Thanks Virginia GOP.  I can continue paying my Federal taxes to support the residents of other states who need the care provided by Medicaid.  Then I can pay more in insurance premiums to help offset the cost of those people getting health care without insurance. 

This must be more of that winning that Trump’s always gas-bagging about.


The article does not even try to offer a counterargument to expanding Medicaid.  Like Social Security, Medicaid was designed to help the sickest and poorest among us.  But increasingly, it is failing on that original goal.  Medicaid continues to become a bloated program that decreasingly helps the ones that need it the most.  Expanding the program will only exacerbate those issues.  Medicaid patients already are getting lesser service with longer wait times at the hospitals and doctor offices that accept them.  And those hospitals and doctors are increasingly losing money on the reimbursement of the services provided to Medicaid patients.  Because of this, more and more doctors and hospitals are declining new Medicaid patients.  Increasing the Medicaid rolls will only make these issues worse, and will hurt those who already qualify for the program, making them worse off.

Also, the federal government promised to reimburse the cost of the expansion at 100%.  However, they will drop that percentage down to 90% by 2020, with the state bearing the cost of the other 10%, which could be very substantial.  That 10% would have to come from cuts in other state funded areas or increases in tax revenue.  If the state budget is already tight, or already overspent, where does an extra 100’s of Millions of dollars come from?

Businesses already providing health care to individuals who would qualify under the expansion would be more prone to drop coverage for their employees given a Medicaid alternative, which would further bloat the rolls.  The number of doctors and hospitals along with the services they provide will stay constant, while the demand increases significantly.  This results in a watering down of the quality and availability of services, which will hurt the most vulnerable.

There are two sides to the issue if you do some simple homework and accept there are two sides to an issue.  LTM continues to only present one side.


Health care is not your right when taxpayers are footing the bill. This is a lie brought to us by liberals who stand to benefit from taxpayer coffers if Medicaid is expanded. Northam like McAuliffe must like to lose backing this no-win drain on resources. Ask McAuliffe who pays for this expansion or do we just add it to the federal debt/atm machine? No one is denying you access to health care we just want you to pay for it yourself.

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