On healthcare, there’s one thing most everyone on all sides of the issue can agree to: As many Virginians as possible should have health insurance. For decades, the question in Virginia and across the country has been "How do we achieve that?"
One side argues that the government should be responsible for providing health insurance universally; it's a fundamental “right,” they say. This was the argument proponents of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion used when passing the ACA eight years ago. Gov. Northam said this week expanding Medicaid is a “matter of basic economic justice.” In fact, it's Merriam-Webster's definition of socialism:
so·cial·ism \ ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm \
1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
While making sure everyone has health insurance is a laudable goal, there are problems with this political philosophy—besides the fact that no such “right” exists in either the Virginia or U.S. Constitution. Every state that has tried the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program has experienced massive cost overruns, inferior health outcomes, and significant waste and fraud.
Worst of all, expansion sends those who need coverage the most—children in poverty and the disabled—to the back of the line, waiting for care behind able-bodied adults. Bottom line: Medicaid expansion for the sake of expanding coverage just doesn’t work and, if anything, it’s economically unjust.
The other side, the one Middle Resolution represents, is all for more health coverage. But we want to do it in a fiscally- and socially-responsible manner and reform the system. Under the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, the Founders believed the states could act in what was to become known as “laboratories of democracy.” Because Medicaid expansion has been such as disaster in other states, the Trump Administration is allowing states to test reforms to Medicaid, including a work requirement for able-bodied adults on Medicaid in neighboring Kentucky. This is the type of reform we support here in Virginia.
We strongly support reforms that ensure the program helps those most in need without bankrupting the state and threatening other important programs such as education, public safety, and infrastructure. This is what The Middle Resolution will fight for as the General Assembly debates what to do with Medicaid this year. Please visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked in.