Policy Documents

Medicaid Expansion Will COST Virginians, In Many Ways

February 14, 2013

Virginia, like many others states, is struggling with whether or not to expand Medicaid for uninsured citizens who have incomes up to 133% of poverty, as the new health law allows.

The commonwealth should resist.  There is no guarantee that initially-generous federal funding will continue, hospitals will have a larger number of patients whose care is compensated at below-cost rates, the expansion will further drive up insurance costs for the privately-insured, and the commonwealth will condemn hundreds of thousands more citizens to a program that can be worse than being uninsured.

Even with the generous match rates the health overhaul law offers, the Medicaid expansion would cost all states at least $118 billion through 2023, according to a 2011 congressional report by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).1 The expansion will crowd out money greatly needed for transportation, education, public safety, and other vital needs.

Many governors are rightly resisting adding more people to Medicaid and are demanding that Washington give them more flexibility to improve the program.