It is Important Virginia Expands Medicaid to its Residents.

Virginia General Assembly

201 N. 9th St.

Richmond, VA 23219                                                                                                                            

Virginia Senators and Delegates,

While many people gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), over 28 million non-elderly individuals remain uninsured. 

Many uninsured individuals remain ineligible for coverage through the ACA either because, like the Commonwealth of Virginia, their state did not expand Medicaid, or because the high premium costs or the inability to find the right resources to help navigate the complex health exchange process.

Advanced Patient Advocacy (APA) exists to positively impact lives in the communities we serve through education and advocacy. With that being said, APA agrees with the governor and speaker of the house and urges the Virginia General Assembly to expand Medicaid to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Medicaid expansion in Virginia would lead to 460,000 additional Virginians gaining coverage. In addition to increasing coverage, Virginia will gain access to $14.7 billion in federal funding. By not expanding Medicaid, Virginia taxpayers will pay $10.6 billion in income taxes over the next eight years that will be used to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states, while receiving no federal Medicaid expansion funds for their own state.

Expanding Medicaid will increase the number of people covered and it also has shown to reduce crime. A recent study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that states that expanded Medicaid saw a 3.3% reduction in crime, which in turn saved the state, on average, $403 million. Along with the $403 million saved due to reduced crime, states that expanded such as Louisiana saved $199 million in FY 2017 due to multiple factors, including higher federal match rates.

Expanding Medicaid in Virginia not only saves the state millions, but it also directly impacts the residents. Studies have shown that states also saw that federally funded community health centers expanded in rural areas. This expansion of community health centers mixed with increased coverage for rural areas could help some of Virginia’s most vulnerable residents. States who expanded Medicaid saw, on average, a 13% drop in medical debt and increase in good-paying jobs. A study out of Colorado estimates in expansion states like Kentucky, expansion would create over 40,000 jobs by FY 2021 with an average salary of $41,000.

This a monumental moment for the Commonwealth of Virginia, expansion could give access to over 460,000 Virginians, including some of our states most at-risk residents. Community health centers in southwest Virginia could continue to keep their doors open, hospitals around the state would see increased revenue, which in turn reduces costs and increased employment. Crime will go down and money will be saved. This is more than a partisan idea, it is an idea that 83% of Virginians support, it’s an idea that can save lives.

 

Sincerely,

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Wendy Bennett

President

Advanced Patient Advocacy