To the Editor:
The Editorial in last week’s Connection ["Taking the Money"] does not include important facts about the risks of expanding Medicaid in Virginia:
Currently Medicaid is already 22 percent of the Virginia budget
Expanding Medicaid reduces funds for other Virginia programs - schools, safety, other medical, etc.
40 to 60percent in the expansion population already have private health insurance
Anyone earning less than the 138 percent above the poverty level would be mandated to lose their private insurance and go onto Medicaid which provides less care.
As to Virginia expanding Medicaid to get increased federal funding, the U.S. government has already run out of "other people’s money" with its more than $17 trillion debt that is growing daily. Plus, there is no assurance the federal government will pay as much as it has said it would to the states because the rules of Obamacare are changing almost daily at the whim of the president.
In addition, Medicaid condemns those in the program to long waits in emergency rooms to get even routine care. Plus, it pays doctors so little and requires so much paperwork that many physicians can not afford to see more than a few Medicaid patients.
Virginia taxpayers should not have to pay more for an already failing Medicaid program infamous for providing substandard care and being ripe with fraud. Government-controlled healthcare has caused costs to go up since its inception in the 1960s. It’s time to look at free-market alternatives to providing medical care in America.