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More Medicaid? Fredericksburg Takes Stage in Standoff

Local example offers insight on state's big debate.

More Medicaid? Fredericksburg Takes Stage in Standoff. Patch file.
More Medicaid? Fredericksburg Takes Stage in Standoff. Patch file.
Republican leaders in the Virginia legislature are calling for a special session to discuss Medicaid expansion. But columnist Robert McCartney writes in The Washington Post that it's a legislative maneuver to make it easier to eventually sideline the proposal.

Should Medicaid be expanded in Virginia? Tell us in the comments!

And he points to Fredericksburg to suggest GOP leaders aren't serious about compromise. McCartney spoke to Mary Washington Hospital executive Frank Rankin.

The local hospital could see $14 million a year for services to the poor under expanded Medicaid — programs that may be in trouble without that federal support. But McCartnery can't get the ear of local legislator and House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford.

“This time, it appears that he is really drawing the line in the sand around no compromise," Rankin told the Post. "It’s a behavior I haven’t seen in the past.”

Howell's office points to the special session offer as proof that discussion can continue on the issue, but not as long as Medicaid is tied to pressing budget talks.

Read Robert McCartney's column.

The Virginian-Pilot notes Washington has promised to fund 100 percent of Medicaid expansion costs through 2016, then gradually lower the funding down to a permanent 90 percent rate by 2020.

The practical GOP response: That federal support is not sustainable. The political GOP response: Obamacare!

Should Medicaid be expanded in Virginia? Tell us in the comments!
Cathi Nussbaum March 06, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Yes. Watch what's going on in Georgia for example. Hospitals are closing all over the state because they are going bankrupt without funding to care for those who have no insurance... is that really what Virginia wants? Start looking at the costs... the real costs. The Feds are financing... do we want good hospital care, healthier people and preventative care or do we want fewer hospitals, a population of people that may/will pass away before their time because of a lack of access... those costs will ultimately be greater. Do Virginian's care? Yes, I think they do.
Caroline Klam March 07, 2014 at 06:12 AM
Yes
Dennis Hannick March 07, 2014 at 08:15 AM
Oh those mean Republicans won't compromise! Curious how the Dems squeal about compromise but are never willing to give anything in return for the "compromise". So far Obama has unilaterally changed the ACA law WITHOUT Congress' input or permission, 31 times. Changing a law is not in the constitutional authority of the president, yet Obama has done it 31 times with the ACA. But we can trust the administration to not change their mind and renege on the funding of Medicaid? Of course not.
Marie March 07, 2014 at 09:54 AM
The Federal Government has no money. People who had no insurance before Obamacare were going to the emergency rooms/hospitals anyway. Now with Obamacare they still don't have insurance and the people who do make enough to pay taxes are having to pay higher taxes to subsidize other's premiums. They should have just left everything alone.
James R Shaw March 07, 2014 at 02:20 PM
No. Washington is broke in more ways than one. That money to pay for the expansion is OUR money (or is it China's?) As long as you have crony capitalists in the mix (hospitals, Insurance companies, governments, pharmaceutical companies) you are going to get these kinds of problems. Let's get back to basics, remove all this excessive overhead and regulation--keeping these busybodies out and away from the relationship between doctors and patients.

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