MEDICAID EXPANSION STATEMENT, JANUARY 16, 2018

Katherine Morrison, Shenandoah County Democratic Committee Chair, today urged Senator Mark Obenshain and State Delegate Todd Gilbert to "put partisanship aside and support Governor Northam's proposal for Medicaid Expansion."

Morris said that Medicaid Expansion would "help almost 400,000 deserving Virginians who today do not have health insurance or have inadequate coverage."  She noted that "this figure included more than 25,000 veterans and/or their spouses."

The Democratic leader said that according to the Commonwealth Institute, Medicaid expansion would help 10,200 individuals living in Senator Obenshain's Senate District, and 4,000 individuals residing in Delegate Gilbert's District at no additional cost to the State of Virginia.

The Woodstock Democrat also said that Medicaid expansion wold be a "fiscally responsible move, and that Virginia would have received $91 million in federal funding in 2017 had expansion been in effect."  Citing a 2013 report from the Virginia Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, she also pointed out that "Virginia's share of existing federal funds would increase to $391 million in 2022."

Under federal law, federal funding would cover 100% of the expansion costs for the first three years, and 90% thereafter.  According to the Commonwealth Institute, Virginia would save $1.64 billion for the next 9 years by expanding Medicaid.

Morrison specifically referred to Delegate Gilbert's recent statement that Virginia could be a "shining example for the rest of the nation on how to find common ground" and said she hoped both Obenshain and Gilbert "would welcome the New Year in a spirit of bipartisanship, and that one of the best ways to do that would be to put aside the divisions of the past and announce their support for Medicaid expansion."