To the Editor:
(In response to Del. Ken Plum’s Commentary "A Moral
Imperative, " Connection, May 29—June 4, 2014)
Rather than vilify Republicans in the House of Delegates who want separate debate on Medicaid expansion, Del. Ken Plum (D-36) should be reminded that there is no imperative to link it to budget negotiations in the first place. Linking it serves only a political convenience for the Governor, who knows by now that a majority of Virginians oppose Medicaid expansion.
I ask Del. Plum: why would you want to shackle Virginia to a program that is inefficient and badly in need of reform? Why would you want to increase the federal debt? Why would you trust the federal government to keep its promise about cost-sharing? Why would you want to commit Virginia taxpayers to almost $1 billion in net costs to the state over the next eight years? Why aren’t you critical of the Virginia hospital lobby, knowing that many hospitals operate at a profit even after
charity care? Why are you pushing a policy that a majority of Virginians oppose?
It is obvious by now that the Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid expansion, are tools to redistribute income and impose greater government control over citizens, rather than to improve quality healthcare.
Virginia should not rush a decision to expand Medicaid. Instead, lawmakers should support the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission and others who are developing alternatives that actually improve healthcare without increasing the financial burden on Virginians.
Virginia should reject Medicaid expansion, and should support Medicaid reform.