Last summer, frustrated that he could not unilaterally expand Medicaid, the Governor decided to unilaterally implement a proposal to provide limited health coverage to severely mentally-ill Virginians. He circumvented the legislature, questionably used emergency regulatory powers and put politics ahead of good public policy. Now, the administration is irresponsibly enrolling people in a plan that cannot exist without the General Assembly’s approval.
The Governor’s Access Plan is a poorly-designed, incomplete policy that does not provide vulnerable Virginians with the healthcare they need or deserve. It provides about half the necessary coverage to about a third of those who need the care. And worse, he ignored the people on a waiting list who are intellectually and developmentally disabled.
As is typical, the policies from the left appear to be compassionate on the surface but are actually the opposite. When the money runs out in June for the Access Plan, the severally mentally-ll will lose their incomplete benefits placing them right back where they started, with one difference: they will have been promised a program by the government that cannot possibly be sustained. That is a very warped definition of compassion.
The Democrats and some Republican Senators are continuing to push for Medicaid expansion and a state run Health Insurance Exchange. Several bills have been introduced that need to be stopped in their tracks:
We Are Promoting Solutions
We are going to drive a responsible, deliberative approach, building on last year’s $57 million in mental health care investments. We cannot provide coverage to everybody, but we can prioritize the dollars available to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
One way of doing that is to better understand where and how our resources are being used. Del. Landes has filed HJ637 which instructs JLARC to research several aspects of Medicaid to get a better handle on our verification processes so that Virginia can be certain the most vulnerable are receiving the benefits they need. Additionally, Del. LeMunyon has filed HB1918 which requires a local director of social services to verify identity, income, assets, and other information about an applicant for public assistance. Both of these pieces of legislation will help reduce fraud and allow DMAS to focus resources required to take care of the most needy in our society.
Call To Action
We are asking you to call your senator and delegate and ask them to Vote NO on:
HB1830 Del. Plum Medicaid Expansion
HB1363 Del. Alexander Creation of State Health Insurance Exchange
SB1328 Sen. Watkins Creation of State Health Insurance Exchange
As always, thank-you for your commitment and your time to Save The Republic,
Director of Legislation and Accountability
The Middle Resolution