Monday, June 4, 2018

Weekly Column: Historic Budget Supports Health Care, Teachers, Police and More

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Connection, and Potomac Local in the week of June 3, 2018.
Historic Budget Supports Health Care, Teachers, Police and More

                Last week, the Virginia legislature, with my support, took several major steps forward. First, we agreed to expand Medicaid, health insurance for disabled and low-income Americans, so that now, over 36,000 people in the 36th Senate District receive their health care from Medicaid.  This includes over 24,000 children, children whose parents now have no health care.  Starting January 1, 2019, that will change.                  
                Medicaid expansion will provide health care to between 300,000 and 400,000 Virginians and create 30,000 new jobs, many of which will be right here in eastern Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties.  It will also save taxpayers $180,000,000 every two years by shifting charity care at state teaching hospitals and prison health care to Medicaid.  All of us pay for uninsured people who must resort to costly hospital emergency rooms for their care.  Providing Medicaid coverage can help people avoid hospital emergency rooms for non-emergency care and will help limit insurance premium increases.