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Editorial: On Federal Dollars in Virginia

State’s role as one of the biggest “takers.”

We received some emails and phone calls about the expansion of Medicaid in response to last week’s editorial. Many asserted that Virginia should not accept federal dollars for its residents without health insurance in order to help control federal spending.

Virginia already receives more federal money per capita than any other state except Alaska. Virginia received $136 billion in federal funds in 2010, more than $17,000 from the feds per capita, and paid $2,807 per capita in federal income taxes. (Data from Consolidated Federal Funds Report for Fiscal Year 2010 by State and County from the Census Bureau, analyzed by 247wallst.com)

Two examples: $1.3 billion in federal transportation money came to Virginia. Virginia was on the receiving end of more than $5,000 per capita in defense spending. Do the people (who almost certainly have their own health insurance) who think that we should turn away federal money to expand Medicaid think we should lobby to reduce defense and transportation spending in Virginia to help control federal spending?