Virginia’s Medicaid program provides healthcare for poor children, the elderly and disabled, but working adults rarely qualify. Experts say as many as 400,000 people could get insurance if the state were to expand its Medicaid program, but there’s another reason why some lawmakers support that idea – it could be good for the economy.
Opponents say Virginia can’t afford to expand Medicaid - even with the federal government paying 90-100% of the bill, but supporters say failing to expand the program will be even more expensive.
Virginia’s hospitals are required to treat anyone who comes to their emergency rooms, and they’re spending about $600 million a year on charity care. Meanwhile, state lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, and the federal government is cutting payments for Medicare. Unless something is done, some hospitals say they may be forced to close.
Patricia Springer owns a small business – Moonbeam Massage. She’s happy to help people who’ve suffered an injury or illness, but since the great recession began, business has been slow.
A Virginia child advocacy organization has a new take on "No Child Left Behind"—that is, making sure all children in Virginia have health insurance.
And while that is possible right now, Voices for Virginia's Children says that could change in the very near future if federal lawmakers don't act.
The good news, according to Voices' Margaret Nimmo Crowe, is that Virginia’s rate of uninsured children is 5.4% — which is relatively low. However there are still more than 100,000 children in Virginia who are uninsured.
While states prepare for the next Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, Virginia lawmakers say they're not happy that almost a quarter of a million Virginians who are already insured are learning—or about to find out—that their current insurance policy will no longer be in effect.
Many are current individual policyholders whose health plans don't meet ACA mandates, but an effort is also underway to make policy start and end dates more uniform. Republican State Senator Frank Wagner finds this to be quite disturbing.