Virginia’s budget is growing, and a recent report shows the biggest culprit is health insurance for the poor.
The fact that Medicaid spending tops the list, is nothing new to lawmakers. Year after year in budget reports, Virginia’s lawmakers hear the same thing: Medicaid costs are rising and by a lot. A report on state spending was presented Tuesday to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.
Republican Delegate John O’Bannon represents Henrico County. “Rightly or wrongly, regardless of what people think about where we need to go. I think it’s worth understanding that this is still the pacman and the fastest growing part of our budget,” O'Bannon said Tuesday.
Democrats are still pushing for Virginia to expand access to Medicaid. Under current law, that would entirely be paid for by the federal government through 2020. But after that, Virginia would be on the hook for ten percent of the cost.
Republicans point to numbers like these, saying taxpayers can hardly afford the current program, let alone ten percent more.