On Monday, January 27, Republican legislators in the Virginia House of Delegates held a press conference calling for an independent, comprehensive operational and financial audit of Virginia’s Medicaid program as part of the work of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission created by the 2013 General Assembly.
House leadership including Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) and members of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) introduced this resolution to direct the audit, which will complement the work that MIRC has already accomplished.
These House leaders and I share complimentary views on Medicaid in Virginia. As I have said before, the program has grown exponentially over the past 30 years. Medicaid recipients are not receiving the caliber of treatment they deserve and a large expansion of the program is not justifiable.
“We are not going to rush the legislative process established by both chambers last year, simply for the sake of making a decision,” said Speaker Howell.
Delegate Steve Landes, Vice Chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission spoke about how important this Medicaid audit is going to be for the work that MIRC is doing for the Commonwealth.
“Perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that Medicaid is more fundamentally broken that we originally thought,” Landes said.
Landes continued by saying, “The reforms the General Assembly outlined last year are a solid first step, but we are going to need to know much more before we can even consider expansion. This audit would review various aspects of Medicaid and allow members of the MIRC to have a deeper understanding of the challenges we face as we continue to reform and improve this important program.”
Medicaid has grown 1600% over the past 30 years and now consumes 22% of Virginia’s budget. Before we consider expanding Medicaid, we need to do a full audit of our existing program.