Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Medicaid Expansion Important to all Virginians

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Medicaid Expansion Important to all Virginians

Mary Kimm got it so right in the Feb. 28 editorial that clearly laid out many important – some would say critical – reasons for expanding Medicaid in Virginia (“Hope for Expanding Health Care”). I want to add a few more points that folks should consider at this critical moment when state senators’ decisions yea or nay will soon be made in Richmond.

We need to let state senators know where we stand, and here is why.

Do you think Medicaid funding only applies to ‘other people’ or people who some might not see as a priority for government help? The truth is it is helping people with disabilities and pregnant women seeking the care necessary to have healthy babies. What’s more, Medicaid funds a huge number of births. And if you think it doesn’t touch the middle class, consider the number of elderly people, who have to spend down all assets and become destitute, or close to destitute, and still need nursing home care.

The other huge reality is that someone pays for all the care given to people who are underinsured or uninsured. That someone is all of us. Hospitals don’t turn away sick people because they can’t pay. We all pay more to help cover those costs. People are sicker more frequently without good medical help, and we pay by higher costs.

Senator Jennifer Wexton has been working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle trying to make Medicaid expansion happen here. Keep it up, Senator Wexton. The over 80 percent of Virginians who want Medicaid expansion need to help you by making our voices be heard in Richmond.

Nancy Hopkins