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.
The Virginia Senate has shot down legislation to allow people with concealed-carry permits to possess a handgun on school property after normal school hours. The bill applied only to those times when no school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities were taking place. Questions about how residents would determine which events are school-sponsored were an insurmountable hurdle to some lawmakers.
It’s not unusual for Attorneys General or Governors to hire counsel from private law firms when they believe they need special expertise or legal services. Now a bill to rein in spending and hold both officeholders accountable for outside counsel they seek on the taxpayer's dime has passed the State Senate. They also would have to explain why the special counsel IS in the public interest before entering into a contract.
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.