Letter to the Editor: The Medicaid issue impacts local budgets


This budget game of Russian roulette that Gov. Terry McAuliffe is playing with the General Assembly over the Medicaid expansion issue is now causing real financial panic by our local governments.

Because of this Medicaid impasse, more than $10 billion in expected state aid that makes up three-fourths of local budget revenue is being held hostage by our political leaders in Richmond.

When I found out from our own Clarke County budget chief that our expected state aid is more than one-third of our total budget revenue for the fiscal year starting July 1, I checked amounts also being held hostage for surrounding areas:

• Frederick County: around $65.2 million.
• Shenandoah County: around $29 million.
• City of Winchester: around $16.7 million.
• Clarke County: around $ 8.4 million.
• Rappahannock County: around $2.5 million.

It’s bad enough that Medicaid is already the government’s largest spending item at $250 billion nationally, with states spending another $150 billion — and that the proposed expansion will cost Virginia another projected $100 million each year over the next 10 years. How on earth can this be afforded?

But holding back from our area community governments more than $122 million in state aid in order to railroad this Medicaid expansion is putting a shotgun to the heads of our own community leaders and sheer political lunacy.

George Archibald, Berryville