One official just exposed a little too much during a committee meeting in Richmond.
She was trying to justify Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
Her words were meant to quiet fears that the program was on shaky ground.
But what she said did just the opposite.
Doctors Refuse Medicaid Patients, Officials Ask for More Taxpayer Dollars
During a major committee meeting last week, one of Northam’s officials admitted to just a little too much.
Dr. Jennifer Lee, Northam’s Director for the Department of Medical Assistance Services, was addressing Democrats and several Republicans who voted for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
It didn’t take long until Lee mentioned health-professional shortage areas.
These are spots in Virginia where doctors and other providers are tough to find.
What came next, however, was astonishing.
Lee laid out the facts that shatter the Democrat narrative on Obamacare.
“We do think there are more challenges for Medicaid enrollees seeking primary care access because there are few who are accepting Medicaid patients” Lee said.1
In one sentence, Lee undermined the tag line that placing folks on Medicaid would actually increase access to care.
This murky future for Medicaid recipients deflates the claims that Democrats had pushed while the expansion’s fate in the General Assembly was still uncertain.
In fact the expansion will increase costs for care overall as more layers of bureaucracy are added.
And a looming shortage of rural doctors adds more fuel to the fire.
Now, Lee is calling for more funding to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate.
What remains to be seen is whether the General Assembly will take action on this issue in 2019’s session.
Will GOP Moderates Divert More Funds to Medicaid and Abortion Providers in 2019?
Earlier this year, Virginians on the political left and right were shocked when House Speaker Kirk Cox pushed his caucus to back Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion.
When Republicans nearly lost the House of Delegates, many predicted that Democrats might be able to push through some of their agenda.
But most of the state was taken by surprise when moderate Republicans shifted in droves to support the Medicaid expansion, along with taxpayer funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
Now the question is whether this moderate wing of the GOP will push more tax dollars towards Medicaid to shore up the expansion’s accounts.
Delegates Chris Peace, Scott Garrett, and Bob Thomas are already facing grassroots backlash in their own districts, which may impact their actions this session.
And along with these delegates and 16 others, the four Republican Senators who backed the expansion, Jill Vogel, Emmett Hanger, Frank Wagner, and Ben Chafin, will be under the spotlight.
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