Letter to the Editor: Del. Mark Berg is an exceptional representative
The fact about the expansion of Medicaid often overlooked, or not fully explained, is the federal funding provided to the states is only to pay the subsidies for the participant’s premiums. None of it is available to pay for the cost of implementation. Eventually, these subsidies will be reduced to 90 percent of the cost for premiums leaving the state to make up the difference.
These costs will have to be funded locally. Del. Mark Berg has said the costs for the state, initially, would be about $40 million. Last year the Frederick County Board of Supervisors investigated the local costs for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. For the county. the initial annual cost was estimated at $1.3 million.
Using this cost as an average for each of the 95 counties and 41 independent cities in Virginia, and including the cost to the state, implementation costs could well exceed $200 million the first year. This cost would have to be covered locally, which means, increases in taxes. It is also very possible there would be serious decreases in other tax-funded services such as transportation, infrastructure and education.
Currently, Medicaid uses about 32 percent of the total state budget. With any expansion, the total will easily exceed 50 percent. There simply isn’t enough money anywhere to pay for this program as designed!
Medicaid expansion for Virginia was stopped by the House of Delegates last year. Del. Mark Berg’s diligence in reading the bills, including checking references in previous actions, prevented this burden from being imposed on the taxpayers of Virginia. He found a reference buried in a previous bill that stopped the Medicaid expansion.
This is just one example of Del. Berg’s real value. His dedication to keeping his campaign promises, including actually reading bills before he votes on them, weighing the effect on cost and personal liberty if enacted, and regular communication with his constituents makes him an exceptional representative. Please join me in voting for Del. Mark Berg on June 9.
Margaret Hobble, Frederick County