BREAKING NEWS: Virginia Senate talks with HHS and CMS Reps about the President's Plan for Rolling Back Medicaid Expansion 

Dear Republican Legislator,

Late yesterday afternoon several representatives from the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined the President’s plans to roll back Medicaid expansion. On the call were several Virginia Senators interested in knowing the risks of expanding Medicaid in Virginia. 

The representatives explained that if the President’s budget is passed, HHS would essentially turn control of Medicaid over to the states in the form of block grants. They further explained, to address the disparity in funding between states that expanded Medicaid and the states that did not expand Medicaid, the Federal government will begin to ratchet down the funding to expanded states and increase funding to states that did not expand over a seven year period. 

What does this mean for states that expanded? Due to reduced funding over the seven year period, states will have to find more money to cover the expanded population. Where is that money going to come from? Education? Public safety? Transportation? Raising taxes? Or, Virginia will have to begin removing people from the Medicaid rolls. 

What are the chances of Medicaid expansion being rolled back? If history is any indication, then there is a good chance some reduction in Medicaid will occur. We know this because the House of Representatives passed a bill to cut back Medicaid last year and the U.S. Senate was close to passing Graham Cassidy in the U.S. Senate. No matter what you think of the President, one thing is for sure, he has consistently beaten the odds. Virginia would be foolish to think he can’t get some form of Medicaid cuts passed.

We suggest you carefully consider the financial risks of expanding Medicaid in any form and vote not to expand Medicaid. This can always be taken up next year if it becomes clear the Federal government will not be rolling back Medicaid expansion. However, if we expand and the Feds do roll back Medicaid expansion, the Virginia General Assembly will be left with a fiscal crisis likely never seen before!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me,

Craig DiSesa
The Middle Resolution

6 Reasons Why Medicaid Expansion is Still Wrong for Virginia

Christie Herrera
Vice President for State Affairs and Policy Fellow
Foundation for Government Accountability

This is a make or break week for the Virginia General Assembly. With work on the budget underway, lawmakers are now grappling with Governor Northam’s push to expand ObamaCare.

Here are six reasons why the best course forward is for Virginia to reject Medicaid expansion—once and for all.

#1: Virginia already has a massive Medicaid spending problem.
Medicaid costs are projected to rise nearly $300 million in Virginia through fiscal year 2018—consuming the largest share of available revenue—even with enrollment levels staying the same. Even without expanding Medicaid, Virginia is faced with unsustainable costs and a budget shortfall that is already straining available funds.

#2: Virginia’s ObamaCare Medicaid expansion enrollment is likely to skyrocket out of control.
States that implemented ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion have enrolled more than twice as many able-bodied adults as promised. Some states have enrolled more people than they ever thought were even eligible for Medicaid. Based on these over enrollment projections, if Virginia were to expand Medicaid, an estimated 506,000 able-bodied adults would be added to welfare—nearly 200,000 individuals more than the original estimates.

Bipartisan “Right to Shop” Brings Transparency Back to Health Care

Josh Archambault
Foundation for Government Accountability

Maine’s Cost-Saving Solution has Potential to Change Health Care for the Nation

Twenty years ago, people bought cars after weeks of in-person haggling. Today, the entire deal can be made online.Ten years ago, dinner restaurants were selected by what the outside of the building looked like.Today, few select a restaurant before consulting internet reviews.Technology has made information more readily available than ever before—and with information comes choice.

Consumers enjoy choice in most every aspect of their lives—from gas prices to the cost of gro- ceries.Yet most Americans are forced to cede control of the most important aspect of their lives: their health.

The reason? Lack of information. Lack of transparency. Lack of positive incentives for both pa- tients and providers.

Latino students falling through the cracks in RPS: ‘They didn’t do anything to help me’

Melissa Hipolit

It's not ideal, but a room tucked inside the Sacred Heart Center in Manchester serves as a makeshift classroom for dozens of Latino immigrants trying to get their GED.

One of the youngest students is 19-year-old Brayan Padilla.

He came to the United States from Honduras four years ago with his younger sister in search of a better life.

"In my country there is a lot of criminal activity. For example, there were a lot of dead bodies," Padilla said in Spanish through a translator.

What public schools could learn from Amazon's move into groceries

Kris Allen
Richmond Times-Dispatch

In August, Amazon entered the retail grocery market. Its goal: transform the economic value chain associated with traditional bricks-and-mortar grocery delivery.

Its plan: expand its scope, differentiate its product, cut cost by integrating grocers and customers into its larger e-commerce platform, and lower consumer prices. As Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon World Consumer, said, “And this is just the beginning — we will ... continuously lower prices as we invent together.” Traditional grocery chains’ market value dropped 8 percent overnight.

Education and grocery stores are different businesses, but both have much to learn from Amazon.

School choice can create the right option for individual students

Karen M.S. Hiltz
Richmond Times-Dispatch

I have served on a private school board, currently serve on a public School Board and can tell you that both environments seek to provide a meaningful educational experience that better prepares students for their next phase in life.

However, the student must decide on what that next phase will be — hopefully with parental guidance. Will that decision be the same for each student? Without a doubt, the answer is “no.”