We support the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act to serve over 400,000 Virginians from low-income working families that currently have no health care insurance.
Virginia Organizing continues to work on improving access to health care for all Virginians. We are currently working on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, the ACA is here to stay and all the provisions were upheld. However, the mandatory expansion of Medicaid became optional to states.
In the Affordable Care Act decision last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may expand the Medicaid program to cover more people who cannot afford to purchase insurance. By extending Medicaid, Virginia would be able to cover over 400,000 Virginians. This is almost half the uninsured in Virginia. Under expanded Medicaid, individuals with annual incomes of approximately $15,900 and families of four with annual incomes of approximately $32,500 would be covered.
For states that expand Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act requires that federal funding cover 100 percent of costs for the first three years of its implementation followed by at least 90 percent federal funding thereafter. States will not be forced to implement the Medicaid expansion if federal financial participation is less than promised.
Both the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services estimate approximately $2 billion in annual federal funds for Virginia during the next five to ten years, respectively. With a new projected state cost of only $1.1 billion over the entire ten year period, it is estimated that more than 30,000 health care jobs will be created by the expansion of Medicaid.
Federal funds will replace much of the state’s current general fund expenditures for providing emergency care to the uninsured in hospitals throughout Virginia, resulting in less cost to Virginia over the next six years than if we did not expand Medicaid.