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.
New enrollment data on the number of Virginians signing up on the federal health exchange is raising concerns the Affordable Care Act is unworkable – and the concerns aren’t just coming from Republicans.
More than 40,000 Virginians signed up for health insurance on the federal exchange last month. Only 27% of those were young adults – the group needed to fund the new system.
New numbers released this week show that the state would save and not spend money, by implementing the new federal health care law.
In a media briefing in Richmond yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel stated that previous estimates of costs involved in implementing the affordable health care act in Virginia, are outdated and that the new numbers are based on more accurate data than was available in previous years.
One of the biggest issues for this legislative session is whether to expand Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act assumed states would do that and offered to pay the full cost for the first three years – then scaling back to 90% over the next seven years.
About half the states – including Virginia – refused, and that means about 190,000 people in the Commonwealth will still be without medical coverage. Governor McAuliffe is pushing for expansion of Medicaid, but Republicans are pushing back with some surprising proposals.
Hospitals here in Virginia are sounding the alarm – warning state lawmakers that they’ll be in big financial trouble if the legislature does not expand Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act set out to provide health care coverage for almost everyone. Only undocumented residents were left out. The bill promised affordable health insurance, and for those who made too little money, states were supposed to expand their Medicaid programs, and the federal government would pick up the tab.