January 2013 Review – Who Is Going to Clean Up This Mess?

A feature of the Affordable Care Act, as modified by the U.S. Supreme Court, provides substantial federal funding for states to expand Medicaid, the program that
pays for health care for low-income people. It is up to the Governor and General Assembly to decide if Virginia should do so. There are voices urging the state to just say “yes” and others just say “no.” The typical Virginia way is to pursue a creative, fiscally conservative option, which may be the path to expansion of Medicaid in Virginia.

Goals for pursuing a Virginia approach should include:

  • Improving the quality of health care in Virginia
  • Controlling the short and long-term costs of the current Medicaid program, which are growing at an
    unsustainable pace.
  • Providing access for more low-income Virginians who today are forced to either forgo treatment or to
    seek care in the most expensive setting, the hospital emergency department.

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