Medicare and Medicaid

In Washington, Virginia’s two senators are joining forces along with half a dozen other senators to help encourage states to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  The law is aimed at extending a deadline that’s already passed. 

 

Drawing up the state budget happens every two years, and the process is plugging along now at the capitol. The Governor has made his suggestions, and this weekend Virginia’s House and Senate issued theirs.  Now it’s on to wrangling out the details.

With three weeks left to finalize the specifics -- lawmakers, lobbyists, and the Governor will be scrutinizing all three proposals to figure out how best to use taxpayer dollars over the next two years. We take a look at what still needs to be pinned down.

• Who Gets A Raise, When

Governor Again Pushes for Medicaid Expansion

Dec 18, 2015

Virginia is one of 20 states that have opted to not expand Medicaid using money the federal government is providing through the Affordable Care Act. It’s been the source of deep discord between Virginia’s Democratic Governor and its Republican legislature, for a couple of years.

But as part of a big budget proposal, Governor McAuliffe threw his hat into the ring for one more Medicaid fight.

Lawmakers in Richmond today heard a report… saying Virginia is likely spending millions in state-funded healthcare for people who don't actually qualify for the benefits.

There’s no specific number for how much Virginia is spending on Medicaid that it shouldn’t… but there is an estimate for one aspect of the program that can give officials a sense.

To be eligible for Medicaid you have to re-apply every year… and there’s a huge backlog of those applications.

Virginia is one of 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  So community clinics here are expanding their mission and changing their image as they strive to fill the gap. 

There’s a misperception that what used to be called Free Health Clinics still serve only adults who can’t afford to pay… that people fortunate enough to have health insurance, should never patronize.  But in fact, the opposite is true.

“Now we see everyone. We see children, adults, the uninsured, homeless and the insured individual.”

Pages