As the effort continues to press the Virginia House of Delegates to jump on board with Medicaid expansion, mental health advocates are warning of what could happen if those who are uninsured remain so.
One coalition says that while both chambers have made addressing mental health a priority this session, those who suffer from illnesses will still face many challenges if they do not have the means to pay for critical services.
Population growth in Virginia slowed last year—but the commonwealth still outpaced the nation.
Between 2012 and 2013, Virginia’s population grew less than 1-percent, to nearly 8-point-3 million people. That’s the slowest growth in the state since the recession….but still higher than the national average.
House of Delegates GOP leaders have announced that they will not vote to expand Medicaid—if at all—until after a comprehensive, outside audit of the state’s program is conducted.
They say they want to find out why Medicaid has become the most expensive item in the General Fund budget … and why 30 percent of the Commonwealth’s healthcare spending goes to waste, fraud, and inefficiencies. They believe it’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to find out what’s wrong with Medicaid and fix what’s broken.
Virginia’s colleges and universities may not get all—if any—of the funds they are requesting for news construction projects.
But the State Council for Higher Education is recommending that lawmakers make maintenance a major priority in the new biennial budget. The Council is also recommending continued funding of "Top Jobs 21"—a major education initiative started by Governor McDonnell.