Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Full Virginia Medicaid expansion is the top 2018 legislative priority.
I strongly support this priority to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens gain health coverage.
7,700 currently uninsured Arlington residents will have much healthier lives with full Medicaid expansion.
However, since Democrats lack a majority in both legislative branches, they must make a deal with Virginia Republicans to expand Medicaid.
Virginia House of Delegates
In the House of Delegates (HOD), the dam broke earlier this year during the regular legislative session when Del. Terry Kilgore (R-Scott), the Chairman of the HOD Commerce and Labor Committee, announced he would back expansion because, according to The Washington Post, “his struggling coal-country district would get the ‘hand up’ it desperately needs if more uninsured Virginians were made eligible for the federal-state health-care program.”
Kilgore’s announcement was key to gaining the support of a substantial number of additional HOD Republican legislators who have supported an HOD budget plan. From the Richmond-Times Dispatch:
“That would accept $3.2 billion in federal money to pay for 90 percent of the cost of expanding the program on Jan. 1, 2019 [to 300,000 Virginians], while relying on a new ‘provider assessment’ on hospital revenues to cover the state’s share of the cost of health coverage for currently uninsured Virginians whose care is uncompensated.”
However, these HOD Republicans joined Kilgore in tying their support to certain conditions and limitations:
“Kilgore said work requirements like those the Trump administration has allowed Kentucky to impose, coupled with a mandate that recipients contribute a ‘small co-pay,’ would make for “a conservative approach” to expansion.”
At least two Republican Senators now have conditionally endorsed expansion. From The Washington Post:
“One of them — Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (Augusta) — has supported certain forms of expansion for years, though he opposes the hospital tax [‘provider assessment’].”
“Those include a tax credit for middle-income people who already have insurance but are struggling to pay soaring premiums and co-pays. He also wants to beef up the work requirement that the House wants imposed on Medicaid recipients.”
Expansion scenarios now
There are at least 5 possible Medicaid expansion scenarios:
- Expansion with a perk for lower-middle class. Wagner’s proposal.
- Expansion but no hospital tax. Hanger’s proposal.
- Expansion with work requirements.The HOD proposal.
- Full expansion, no work requirements. Northam’s proposal; unlikely to happen.
- No expansion at all. That’s what 19 Senate Republicans currently say they want; unlikely to happen.
As Governor Northam has advocated, Democrats’ long-term goal must continue to be full Medicaid expansion. But, overriding even that goal, Democrats must help people who are dying, or who are much sicker than they need to be because of untreated illnesses. For this reason, Democrats should make the best possible deal with Republicans.
Support for Medicaid expansion has been provided by leading business groups like the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. This has led to major Republican support expressed by the chairs of the General Assembly’s Commerce and Labor committees. New Republican HOD Speaker Cox’s support also is noteworthy.
A final decision on Medicaid expansion probably is weeks away because:
- hundreds of millions of spending on other budget needs are tied to Medicaid expansion
- Senate Republican leaders want to see new revenue projections first
Tour Country Club Hills to discover its lush herbage, mature trees, and the Victorian and frame houses of the area in Neighborhood Spotlight.
A soggy weekend is on tap after an otherwise pretty nice final week of September. Obviously this week’s big story was the devastation in Florida, the huge scale of which…
Share your input on the Arlington Forestry and Natural Resources Plan by October 3.
A proposed bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians between Crystal City and the Southwest Waterfront area of D.C. has received $20 million in federal funding to move forward. When complete, the…
9th Street Chamber Music is back in business for its second season! 9SCM is disrupting the stereotypes of classical music as stuffy, dry, and elite through dynamic yet accessible performances and its one-of-a-kind String Quartet Intensive for young musicians in the DC Metro area.[9th Street Quartet](https://www.9thstreetchambermusic.com/9th-street- quartet)’s first concert is on Sunday, October 16 at 4:00 PM. The group will offer, for the first time, a ‘Playlist Shuffle’ themed concert featuring single movements of string quartet favorites. Tickets for this concert can be found here, and are $20 for adults and FREE for all students under 18.
Rehearsals began Monday, September 27 for the String Quartet Intensive, welcoming 32 new and returning members to the program. These talented musicians in grades 7 through 12 represent over fifteen area schools throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, and are an integral part of the growing 9SCM community. Their first performance will take place on Monday, November 28 at 7:30 PM.
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm
Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker