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Bolling - "Until and unless there has been significant and fundamental reform of Medicaid, I urge you to reject expansion of this program. This is a program that does not work not, and it will not be improved by simply making it bigger."
RICHMOND – In a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today encouraged the Commonwealth to reject the costly and massive expansion of Medicaid in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
While Bolling expressed confidence that Mitt Romney and Republican majorities in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House would be elected this fall and move to repeal the PPACA and replace it with market-based reforms, if the PPACA did survive, he expressed his opposition to the costly Medicaid expansion unless it includes fundamental and substantive reform of the current Medicaid program.
Bolling wrote, “Funding such a significant expansion of Medicaid would place tremendous fiscal pressure on the Commonwealth and divert funds from other state programs, such as public education, higher education, public safety, natural resource protection and even other critically important health care programs. Medicaid is already one of the fastest growing areas of the state budget, accounting for almost 20 percent of total state general fund expenditures. The cost of administering the Medicaid program has increased by more than 80 percent from 2002 to 2011. This is simply an unsustainable rate of growth that will only get worse if we add 425,000 more people to the program.”
Bolling cited additional concerns with the Medicaid expansion including:
- An estimated $31.3 billion cost to taxpayers, including $2.1 billion in state general fund resources, to increase the Medicaid rolls by nearly 50 percent from 2014 to 2022.
- No guarantee that the state’s share of the expansion would not increase in future years.
- Medicaid’s high risk of fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments as identified by the federal government’s General Accounting Office and the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The ability of the health care delivery system to effectively absorb an estimated 425,000 additional Medicaid patients at a time when providers are already cutting back on services to Medicaid patients due to the lack of compensation from Medicaid for cost of delivering services.
Bolling added, “I have long supported fundamental reform of Virginia’s Medicaid program to reduce cost and improve service delivery. While we have made some progress in this regard, it is my belief that Medicaid is currently a dysfunctional and unsustainable program. Until and unless there has been significant and fundamental reform of Medicaid, I urge you to reject expansion of this program. This is a program that doesn’t work now, and it will not be improved by simply making it bigger.”
Full text of the letter can be found here.