There’s no excuse for not closing the Medicaid gap in Virginia

In the Jan. 26 Metro article “Medicaid expansion bills die in ‘round one,’ ” Virginia state Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) said about Medicaid expansion, “I think it’s premature to move forward on this and potentially get ourselves in a situation where we have expanded and have to do this thing on our own dime.”   

Virginia should have closed the Medicaid gap when the Affordable Care Act passed. We would have saved millions of state dollars, allowed as many as 400,000 Virginians to have health insurance, increased the number of medical professionals and prevented a hospital from closing. It is the moral, ethical and economic right thing to do. Premature? Could anyone believe that?

From the same article: “Sen. George L. Barker (D-Fairfax) pointed out that his bill contained provisions to stop the program if federal support ends. Others noted that the governor’s budget proposal would . . . [leave] no net cost for the state.” I have no doubt that Barker has explained in detail all the reasons to expand Medicaid to the naysaying Republicans.

For anyone of goodwill, there is no excuse for voting against a bill that provides access to health care for people. 

Most of those affected are people who have jobs that do not pay enough for them to participate in marketplace subsidies.  

Cedar Dvorin, Alexandria

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