Alexandria To the Editor:
The Virginia legislature is starting to resemble our dysfunctional Congress, heading into a special session over the unresolved state budget. One house, under the control of one party, is holding the budget hostage to force the other house, under the control of the other party, to expand Medicaid to the working poor, ignoring the purpose of a two-house system to screen expenditures in such a way that an expenditure must survive a rigorous legislative test before the state and its taxpayers accept its responsibilities and burdens. Only success in both houses should sustain an expenditure, whereas defeat in one or the other should dispose of it. To do otherwise undermines a key check on overspending.
The House of Delegates is right to resist this chimeric expansion of Medicaid to the working poor:
- The party in control of the U.S. House of Representatives has voted several dozen times to repeal the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (aka ObamaCare) which has proven less “affordable” than its advocates first insisted. In so doing, they have put states like Virginia on notice that they will not honor ObamaCare’s promise of 100 percent at first, 90 percent indefinitely thereafter, future “free federal funding” for expanded Medicaid. Virginia taxpayers cannot alone bear the cost burden of expanded Medicaid, so it is fairer for the working poor not to have Medicaid in the first place than to become reliant on something they will later lose.
- What the federal government spends on reimbursing states for expanded Medicaid is not the proverbial “free federal money” because every dime adds to the federal deficit. The accumulated annual federal deficits, known as the national debt, are already greater than the entire annual American economy such that every state embracing expanded Medicaid brings closer the day when the Medicare/Medicaid trust fund reaches insolvency and the overall national debt grows so great that the country can no longer sell its bonds.
Dino Drudi, Alexandria