If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It. Medicaid’s Working Just Fine for “Red” Virginia …


    ( – promoted by lowkell)

    Have you seen the map going around showing the hypocrisy of Republicans in the House of Delegates? Check it out, Republicans benefit from the very expansion of Medicaid they oppose!

    The only problem with the map? It’s not the full story! The real story is that Medicaid is working just fine for Red Virginia. The reason the GOP opposes expansion is that it will primarily benefit Blue Virginia …

    Read the fine print on that map. It’s not a map of who will benefit from Medicaid expansion in Virginia, it’s a map of who is already benefiting!

    Here’s the claim of hypocrisy.

    Even though GOP delegates rejected overwhelmingly a plan for expansion of that federal health care program for the poor, Republicans represent 32 of the state’s top 50 delegate districts ranked by percentage of the population on Medicaid. Democrats represent the other 18. These high Medicaid districts represented by both parties would benefit disproportionately from a Virginia Senate-approved plan to add hundreds of thousands of Virginians to the Medicaid program.


    Check out this report from the Commonwealth Institute that looks at the population of potential Medicaid eligible adults per district. I’ll try to reword the claim:

    Even though GOP delegates rejected overwhelmingly a plan for expansion of that federal health care program for the poor, Republicans represent 25 of the state’s top 50 delegate districts ranked by the number eligible for Medicaid under the expansion. Democrats represented the other 25.

    And on the flip side, imagine …

    Among the 50 bottom districts ranked by the number eligible for Medicaid under the expansion, Republicans represent 43, and Democrats 7!

    This is the real story. Republicans tend to represent districts that have little to gain from the Medicaid expansion. Talking about the hypocrisy of Southwest Virginia Republicans ignores the real problem. A number of Republicans who have found themselves representing “Blue Virginia” are standing in the way of health care security for their constitutes.

    Based on the Commonwealth Institute’s analysis, the average population of those eligible for Medicaid under the expansion is just under 15,900. But because of the dispersal of the eligible population, there are only thirty-five districts above this average. They favor Democrats 21 to 14.

    And they aren’t the rural, Southwest Virginia districts that the creators of the map would lead you to believe. Instead, it’s suburban, Northern Virginia districts, like the 40th, where Tim Hugo is blocking almost 46,000 constituents from accessing health care, the most in the Commonwealth.

    Other top districts represented by Republicans include Rust (86th), LeMunyon (67th), Comstock (34th), Loupassi (68th) and Albo (42nd). Many of these districts should remind you of the series I did earlier this year highlighting the districts where Democrats have to compete in order to pick up seats in the House of Delegates.

    Medicaid expansion is a defining issue to hold vulnerable Republicans in Northern Virginia accountable for associating with the backwards county-courthouse cabals of “real” Virginia. Let’s see Comstock get elected this fall defending this albatross.

    But unfortunately, for most Republicans, Medicaid is working just fine, thank you very much, no need to expand it! They can be singing “I’ve got mine, don’t worry about his!” And they feel the same way about elections, they don’t worry about them!

    Danny Marshall, Terry Kilgore, Tommy Wright, and the other good ol’ boys don’t see a reason to expand Medicaid, and they never will. Forget them. Let’s start to ask the Republicans from Northern Virginia why they are hanging out with that crowd to begin with …

    • va_lady2008

      and one I admit not have even considered.

      The take home message is this:

      They’ve got theirs, they’re not paying their share as it is, and they’ll be hanged if they ever will.  

      This is a sweet deal, at least for the moochers.

      Jaw dropping, but not surprising.

      I had assumed it was some evil combination of Obama Derangement Syndrome and ignorance that made them act that way. It never for an instant occurred to me to consider that this might be a rational reaction to their ability to mooch from the rest of us.  After all, they’re turning away BILLIONS of federal tax dollars that the rest of us will still be paying by refusing the program.  

      An interesting overlay on the map would be “federal taxes paid on average per person.”  My guess would be that the areas with the highest percentage of Medicaid recipients would correlate nicely with the areas that contribute the least in federal taxes.  In other words, my tax dollars are subsidizing those moochers. Again.

    • Dan Sullivan

      During an interview with Jimmy Barrett on WRVA this morning, the Virginia Americans for Prosperity leader explained that we’re already getting the federal money for Medicaid everyone says we’ll lose out on. There is no reason to accept more federal money to broaden coverage in Virginia.

      His argument goes like this: Virginia receives $1.50 for every federal tax dollar paid by Virginians. Thus, we are already receiving enough money. There is no specific account from which funds for ADA Medicaid support are distributed, so he argues it is a lie that Virginia funds will be distributed to other states if we turn that money down. He contends it is not true that Virginia will be better off if Medicaid is expanded.

      I suppose AFPers should stand on that principle when they consider accepting their federal tax refunds.  

    • Progressive1

      Is it possible to present a statistically valid estimate of the number of persons, by house or senate district, who will leave a serious illness untended, or may even die, as a result of a failure to expand health care coverage?  What is the cost to each member’s constituents in dollars and lives?  If expanded health care saves the state money and helps people in need, what sacrifices are opponents willing to impose on their constituents so that they can oppose this program?  Some may have questions about whether the proposed system is flawed, but imperfect health care coverage is certainly better than none at all.