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Video: Forum on Virginia Medicaid Expansion Makes Clear There’s No Good Reason to Oppose It


Earlier this afternoon, I attended a town hall forum on “Closing the Coverage Gap” in Virginia at the Arlington Central Library. The panelists were: Senator Adam Ebbin, Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Bob Brink, Delegate Patrick Hope, Delegate Alfonso Lopez, INOVA Health System representative Don Harris, and Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Jennifer Lee. The first video has Del. Lopez welcoming the audience – disappointingly small (maybe a couple dozen?) from my perspective, especially given the urgency and importance of this issue to all of us – followed by the panelists introducing themselves. I’ll post more videos in the comments section of this post. The bottom line, from what everyone said today, is very simple: there are a bunch of great, substantive reasons FOR expanding Medicaid in Virginia, and ZERO serious, substantive reasons AGAINST it. So why isn’t it happening? One reason, and one reason only: incumbent Republicans are terrified of the Tea Party, which hates “Obamacare” and President Obama with a deranged passion, and their gerrymandered districts mean that this is the only realistic way they might not be reelected. So, yes, opposition to Medicaid expansion is rational from the narrow self-interest point of view of individual Republican Senators or Delegates, but simultaneously it’s hurting their constituents, as well as the rest of us in Virginia. Priorities, priorities…

P.S. The Virginia General Assembly is back in (in)action Monday, and Gov. McAuliffe has promised a “major announcement.” Stay tuned!


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