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,
The Middle Resolution