Letter to the Editor: Virginia needs Medicaid expansion


Lest we forget: the Medicaid expansion feature of the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] would be a huge blessing for Virginia. I hope that your readers who agree with me will cut out this letter and send it to their elected representatives who have blocked Gov. McAuliffe’s efforts to bring this desperately needed care to hard-working and very poor Virginians.

The Medicaid expansion act will actually improve Virginia’s economy:

1. Health care providers will be paid for services provided, thus improving struggling hospitals and clinics and freeing up expensive emergency room services for true emergencies.
2. Healthy employees produce more, adding to a general economic upward trend.
3. The medical care is like a pay raise for our poorest citizens, generating additional economic activity in poor communities
4. The idea that Medicaid expansion will increase Virginia’s taxes is absolutely untrue. The expansion is financed from taxes Virginians have already paid, and simply brings our tax money home.
5. Given Virginia’s current economic situation, Medicaid expansion represents an infusion of cash we need
6. The health care provided will generate additional jobs.
7. The idea that the federal government will fail to make scheduled payments and Virginia would have to make up the difference is ridiculous. In the unlikely event this happens, the recipients would know that their Medicaid expansion benefits are immediately canceled

Let’s face it: Ted Cruz has signed up for Affordable Care Act health insurance. Republican governors around the country are rethinking their position and signing some version of the Medicaid expansion because it is good for their state and good for their poorest citizens. In Virginia we have 400,000 poor and hard-working people desperately in need of medical care. Polls have shown that Virginians favor extending Medicare to them. But they are not going to get it because the key decision makers are politicians motivated by nothing but power and prejudice.

Surely we can do better than this.

Gloria Rickel, Front Royal