I got this by email from my delegate, Rick Morris:
Governor Terry McAuliffe and General Assembly Democrats are demanding that we expand ObamaCare in Virginia before they will agree to pass a budget.
This is wrong. Virginia’s budget is not a bargaining chip. Regardless of how you feel about ObamaCare, holding hostage funding for our schools, teachers, police officers, firefighters and local governments is wrong.
It’s similar to emails that other Republican delegates have been sending to their constituents throughout Virginia.
It’s hard for me to take it seriously when Republicans complain about brinkmanship over budget impasses. They don’t have the right. The emails also say that Democrats won’t compromise. But it’s Republicans in the House of Delegates, like Rick Morris, who won’t compromise. House Republicans even rejected the Virginia Senate compromise, “Marketplace Virginia”, which had bi-partisan support. When House Republicans complain that Democrats won’t compromise, what they mean is, “Democrats won’t cave”. And Democrats should not cave on Medicaid expansion.
Medicaid expansion will help 400,000 people who are too poor to qualify for the provisions of the Affordable Care Act but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid under current limits. Those are working people, not the right wing’s exaggerated numbers of “welfare queens”. Expanding Medicaid will even help keep some of them keep working after a medical crisis. And Medicaid expansion will create jobs.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association spells out:
- Implementing the Medicaid expansion in Virginia would provide a $3.9 billion boost to the Virginia economy annually;
- The related federal funds could support more than 30,000 jobs; and
- While most of the direct benefits accrue to the health care sector, significant benefits would also be enjoyed by businesses and households.
Medicaid expansion is also supported by the Chamber of Commerce, because it’s good for Virginia’s economy. The people that Medicaid expansion is bad for are the politicians who want to see the Affordable Care Act fail, and health care providers who have benefited from the skyrocketing health care costs which are finally getting under control.
If you’re in Virginia, call your State Delegate today and tell him or her that you support Medicaid expansion, and that you don’t want House Republicans to hold up the budget trying to block it.