On Saturday, the Virginia House of Delegates adopted changes to Virginia’s two-year state budget and in the process pushed back against the implementation of ObamaCare in Virginia.
One of the major items considered in the budget this year was Medicaid expansion.
The budget adopted does not expand Medicaid.
Medicaid needs reform. From the very beginning of this General Assembly session, I have said Medicaid reform must come before any consideration is given to Medicaid expansion.
Medicaid is the fastest growing item in the state budget. The costs are spiraling out of control. If we do not reform Medicaid now, we are going to end up with a huge hole in our state budget, no way to pay for it and a broken program.
This budget guarantees that Medicaid will be reformed before ANY CONSIDERATION is given to Medicaid expansion and guarantees that the Republican-controlled House of Delegates will have final control over Medicaid expansion.
The budget establishes the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission. That commission will be made up of five Senators and five Delegates. That commission is vested with the authority to determine if the reforms made to Medicaid are strong enough for Medicaid expansion to go forward.
That means this commission will have to determine if Medicaid expansion saves Virginia money (estimates now say it could cost $700 million or more) and if the federal government is going to let us determine how we provide care (don’t think President Obama is going to do that).
President Obama has attempted to force ObamaCare on us. Medicaid expansion could absolutely wreck Virginia’s financial system without reforms.
We have taken a step to guarantee that Medicaid expansion in Virginia will not happen without first enacting serious reforms and without absolutely ensuring it won’t cost Virginia taxpayers.
I was proud to vote to push back against ObamaCare and pass a conservative budget that Virginians can be proud of.