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Expanding Medicaid sensible and necessary


Date published: 4/1/2014

I've been listening to all the negative chatter about Obamacare, and I'm perplexed why we wouldn't want our fellow Virginians (friends, neighbors, relatives and those in need) to have affordable health care coverage, including expanding the Medicaid coverage--especially knowing that one out of every five Americans age 18 to 64 is uninsured.

The Republican members of the Virginia legislature are blocking the expansion of Medicaid that would help 400,000 poor and needy Virginians get health care coverage.

It just doesn't make sense, since the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of the costs thereafter.

Expanding Medicaid in Virginia would be a positive step that would alleviate the expenses our local hospitals incur when folks come into their facility for medical services and those folks can't pay.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association says that if Medicaid is expanded in Virginia, our local hospitals' financial position would turn from red to black, and without expanding Medicaid in Virginia, the numbers would only get worse for the hospitals.

The Free Lance-Star reported on Jan. 18 that in 2015 Mary Washington Healthcare is expected to lose about $12 million, but if Medicaid eligibility expands it would end up with a net gain of about $1.5 million for that year.

For 2016, the figure is larger--a $14 million loss without Medicaid, a $12 million net gain with it.

Please call your Virginia senators and delegates and tell them that expanding Medicaid is the economically right thing to do!

Judy Krongold

Spotsylvania