Can you imagine if Congressional Democrats had proposed a budget which damaged Virginia in the myriad of ways listed below (source: U.S. Senate Democrats)? Republicans like Bob McDonnell and Eric Can’tor would be going nuts, calling Democrats “irresponsible” and “reckless” and “job killing” and all the rest. Now that their own party has proposed doing exactly that, of course, Republicans like McDonnell and Can’tor are absolutely silent. Just as McDonnell is silent as his party moves to shut down the government because they don’t like Planned Parenthood (or whatever crazy “issue” they’re spittin’ mad about today), potentially causing severe harm to the economy of Virginia. In short, when it comes to Republicans like Bob McDonnell and Eric Can’tor, hyper-partisanship trumps what’s best for Virginia every single time (see this video for evidence that the whole point here is “to score a victory for the Republican people”).
IN VIRGINIA, GOP PLAN COULD CUT UP TO $22.6 BILLION FROM HEALTH CARE, NURSING HOME BENEFITS FOR RESIDENTS
The new Republican budget reflects upside-down priorities – it protects special interest subsidies and tax breaks for those at the top, and cuts deep into the heart of the programs that are essential to the health of our seniors. The Republican budget ends Medicare as we know it – and their plan to cut $1.4 trillion in health care services through Medicaid would put an end to vital services that seniors depend on like nursing home care and home health aides. If Republicans get their way, Virginia residents would lose $22.6 billion in health benefits, and 372,470 could see their coverage cut entirely.
Democrats are committed to reducing the deficit by eliminating wasteful subsidies and combating fraud and abuse in health care programs while protecting Medicaid and Medicare for seniors.
GOP Plan Could Force At Least 372,470 Virginia Residents Off Medicaid. Medicaid currently provides health coverage to roughly 785,700 Virginia residents, with the federal government picking up 50% of Virginia’s Medicaid costs. At a minimum, the Ryan Plan could remove at least 372,470 Virginia residents from the program. [Kaiser Commission on Medicaid, 2/2011; Kaiser Commission on Medicaid, 5/2010; Kaiser State Health Facts, accessed on 4/1/2011]
Block Grant System Could Shift Cost to State Government, Slashing Health Benefits in Virginia By Up to $22.6 Billion When the State Already Faces a Budget Crisis. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal could slash $22.6 billion in health benefits from Virginia over the next ten years, including $12.1 billion in federal investments and $10.5 billion to expand eligibility in the state. Virginia is already facing a $2 billion budget shortfall in Fiscal Year 2012, and a block grant system would force the state and local governments to either slash benefits or raise taxes to cover the shortfall. [Congressional Budget Office, 11/17/10; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/9/11; Kaiser State Health Facts, accessed 4/5/11].
Elderly Population in Virginia is Expected to Skyrocket from 12.4% to 18.8% by 2030. In Virginia, 244,100 seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to get the health care services they need. In 2030, 18.8% of the total population of Virginia is expected to be 65 years old or older, up from 12.4% in 2010. For aging and elderly populations, Medicaid covers services that other programs, including Medicare, do not cover, like nursing home care. The Ryan plan would require larger and larger Medicaid cuts over time, just as more seniors require Medicaid and health care costs continue to rise. [U.S. Census Bureau, State Interim Population Projections by Age and Sex: 2004 – 2030; Kaiser Commission on Medicaid, 2/2011].
FLASHBACK: Under ’95 Block Grant Plan, Virginia Would Have Faced $598 Million Cut to Health Benefits in the First Year Alone. In 1995, House Republicans proposed a Medicaid block grant plan similar to the plans offered today. If the 1995 block grant plan had become law, Virginia would have received $598 million less in federal health benefits.