Oppose Obamacare Expansion In Virginia!

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February 17, 2014

On Sunday, the Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee released their respective budgets (see them here). Each chamber will debate the details of those budgets this week, with votes coming on Thursday. Perhaps the most glaring difference between the two budgets is just what was expected — the Senate budget includes an expansion of Obamacare — Medicaid expansion — and the House budget does not.

Please click here to contact your senator and delegate and urge them to reject any budget that includes expanding Obamacare in any way!

While supporters of expansion in the Senate claim their program isn’t really expansion, the consequences of its proposal are the same. Couching it as a “private market” plan, advocates of the Senate budget hope to gain support. But regardless of the rhetoric, the plan expands Obamacare.

The glaring failures of Obamacare, including the millions who have lost health care coverage or are having to pay substantially higher premiums, the loss of work hours, the loss of jobs, the constant implementation delays because the law is unworkable, and the growing fears the federal government will not be able to hold up its financial commitment in future years, are just some of the reasons Virginia should avoid expanding the program.

Obama changes Obamacare

Beyond that, the arguments for expansion of Medicaid are disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst. For example, some argue that Virginia will “lose money to other states” if we don’t expand. That is fundamentally false. Medicaid money is based on a federal formula. If we don’t receive the money, it doesn’t go to other states because other states just get what the formula prescribes for those states and no more.

Proponents also argue that hospitals will lose millions of dollars in funding for indigent care without expansion because the money the federal government has been sending to hospitals was to be cut off in exchange for Medicaid dollars. But that cut in funding has been delayed a year (big surprise), and most hospitals are running well in the black. It is up to the federal government, which botched this entire program, to fix the problem and not simply dump it on the states to figure out.

Even worse, perhaps, than the failures of the Obamacare rollout are the failures of Medicaid itself. Studies have shown that care within Medicaid sometimes leaves a lot to be desired (see Avik Roy at Forbes). It is a fundamentally flawed program that bleeds fraud and provides inadequate care for those who desperately need it. Nearly doubling the program’s size in Virginia without massive changes is foolish.

Frankly, one of the main problems with the battle over Obamacare is that we no longer are having a serious conversation about how to fix our health care system, deliver high quality care to all Americans (especially those who are in need of assistance) and do so in a financially responsible way. We are fighting over failed programs and a failed law, instead of figuring out real, 21st century solutions to our health care needs.

For all of these reasons, we strongly oppose expanding Obamacare in Virginia, and urge you to contact your legislators to urge them to oppose a budget that includes Medicaid/Obamacare expansion. This battle likely will force the General Assembly into overtime, but for what’s at stake, the battle is worth the time.

ACTION: Please click here to contact your Senator and Delegate and urge them to reject any budget that includes expanding Obamacare in any way!

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7 Responses to “Oppose Obamacare Expansion In Virginia!”

  1. M Mirabelle says:

    TFF’s position is based on two problematic premises:

    A) Regardless of the formula used for sending Medicaid money to states, the simple fact is that those monies come from the federal taxes your family pays but then don’t return to your state when your state rejects them. This makes the cost of your family’s health care go up, up, up. Why? Because without those monies offsetting the costs of care of the uninsured, hospitals and insurance companies pass the ADDED EXPENSE of uninsured folks on TO YOU in the form of higher bills, premiums, and co-pays. Simply put, when Virginia rejects Medicaid for partisan political reasons, your family must bear the heavier brunt of the costs of those folks who otherwise would have been covered by the Medicaid expansion. It’s not a family-friendly position to make the costs of health care go up, up,ump for your family, now is it! That’s why it’s baffling why an organization such as TFF opposes the Medicaid expansion and, as a result, supports HIGHER health care COSTS for YOUR FAMILY.

    B) Hospitals run in the black because they negotiate prices with insurers and of course they negotiate profitable prices. Factored into the price that YOUR FAMILY winds up paying for your care and your insurance is money to reimburse hospitals for their losses in treating uninsured folks. They have to treat these people, and somebody’s got to pay for it, so the costs get passed on TO YOUR FAMILY in the form of unnaturally high costs to you. You pay for the uninsured this way. In states that reject Medicaid expansion, this costly burden falls much more heavily on YOUR FAMILY, since there’s that much less federal help in defraying these costs.

    Your family is paying federal taxes towards these programs designed to lower your costs, so don’t you want the money to help lower your family’s costs rather than other families in Maryland and Washington DC?

    C’mon TFF! Time to stop playing partisan politics at the expense of Virgnia families! Health Care costs takes a real bite out of Virginia family budgets. Why would you support this continuing? Why do you support expensive health costs for Virginia families? Medicaid expansion is alleviating costs in states that are accepting it. Hardworking Virginia families deserve this relief too.

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  7. Carmen Haywood says:

    In my thoughts I feel this Obamacare sucks, Our worlds shouldnt be in this much confusion, there are people killing other people, Rape, Gun fire, wanting to pass gay marriage. What about CHRIST? We need to put more CHRIST in school and back in to people lives. As far as people living pay check to pay check it crazy! Americans shouldn’t have to live like this. I am a disabled American that lives in Virginia, and I had to wait and wait for years to be get my disability. I have been working since I was 15 years old and what I get from disability isn’t enough to wipe my ass on a month. There needs to be a change in this system. Wages need to go up, and people need medical attention. We are starving and need medical assistance.

    Telling our children that they aren’t allowed to pray in school is crazy, its a freedom of speech. That they as newly individuals need to express.
    If anyone doesn’t like my thoughts on these tough times then they came come down to good ol’ Gloucester of Virginia and pay me a visit. That goes for that Muslim in office.

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