Column: Lawmakers’ debate medicaid expansion



Virginia is grappling with a tough decision: Should the commonwealth expand its Medicaid programs as desired by Obamacare? Policymakers are waging a fierce battle threatening to shut down the commonwealth’s government over the issue.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other proponents argue that expansion is a good deal for the state because it’s free. However, regardless of what supporters may say, Medicaid expansion is a bad deal for Virginia, adding billions of new spending to the commonwealth’s budget over the next 10 years.

Medicaid is a joint state-federal program in which the costs are split and the administrative burden is borne mostly by the states. The program traditionally has provided insurance coverage to low-income populations, primarily children, pregnant women and the disabled.

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