April 17th 2017 Newsletter

The General Assembly again removed Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion from Governor McAuliffe’s budget proposal. At the reconvened session, we rejected his latest attempt to clear a path for Medicaid expansion.

Congressional efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have stalled. This creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty around healthcare policy.

Congress worked on the “American Healthcare Act” for three weeks, but the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare didn’t have the votes to pass.

Democrats refused to work with Republicans to fix legislation that we all know is broken. So Democrats bear the responsibility for rising prices and fewer coverage options. 

Premiums increased by double-digits in Virginia this year – anywhere from nine to eighteen percent depending on the plan.

Nearly 1/3 of all U.S. counties have only one insurer offering plans on their state’s exchange.

Thirty four percent fewer doctors and other health care providers accept Obamacare insurance compared to private insurance.

Virginia’s decision not to adopt Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is the right one. No matter what happens, we need to make sure this legislation doesn’t punish Virginia. We should not be punished for being a fiscally-responsible state and for not expanding Medicaid.

In the long run, Obamacare will continue to crumble as prices rise, coverage options decrease, and the law becomes more and more unworkable.  

 

The existing Medicaid program is broken. Rising Medicaid costs continue to eat in to funding for education, public safety, and other core services.

 

We must continue efforts to reform Medicaid, but that remains difficult with Obamacare still in place. Expanding Medicaid would be a fiscal disaster for the Commonwealth.

 

Expansion could cost as much as $2 billion per year (state and federal), a cost Virginia simply cannot afford.

 

Washington is $19 trillion in debt. We cannot count on IOUs from Congress to pay for expansion. Virginia taxpayers will eventually get stuck with the bill.

 

There is a better way to expand access to healthcare. Instead of expanding government-run entitlement programs, we should strengthen our health care safety net to care for the truly needy.

 

The House of Delegates has invested over $200 million in the health care safety net over the last three years, including significant funding for mental health coverage and funding for free clinics and community health centers.

 

I understand the vital role hospitals play in our communities and across the Commonwealth. I also understand that Obamacare and its Medicare cuts are making things more difficult for hospitals. But overall, our hospitals are in good financial shape. More Obamacare is not the solution to the problems caused by Obamacare.

It is a privilege to represent you in the Virginia House of Delegates.  I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office.  I will be spending the coming weeks meeting and visiting with various groups, businesses and constituents giving updates on the 2017 session. You can email me at DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)698-1059.  You can also join the conversation on our social media page www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.

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