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.
More than 200,000 Virginians —most without insurance— could access healthcare services under an executive plan announced today by Governor McAuliffe.
The 10-step program is called “A Healthy Virginia” and does not require General Assembly approval. The governor aims to secure as many federal dollars as possible—instead of funding the entire plan through the state budget.
With people still adjusting to their insurance policies and premiums under the Affordable Care Act, now might not be the ideal time to tell Virginians that sales taxes associated with some health procedures, prescriptions, and even Band Aids could be passed on to them. But that was one of the issues the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences.
Some Virginia policy analysts say after months of stalling and keeping constituents on the edge of their seats, the General Assembly still blundered by passing a budget without Medicaid expansion.
Groups that include Virginia Organizing, Progress Virginia, and the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis say that not only has the budget left hundreds of thousands of Virginians without affordable healthcare options—but residents are left with a gaping budgetary hole that needs to be filled.