Poll: Virginians growing oddly less fond of Medicaid expansion under McAuliffe’s leadership
posted at 5:31 pm on April 25, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
This is what President Obama had to say the other day about the states that have yet to expand/have refused to expand their Medicaid programs under ObamaCare.
I’m sorry, I’m going to say one last thing about this, just ’cause this, this does frustrate me. States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You’ve got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states. Zero cost to these states. Other than ideological reasons, they have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That’s wrong. It should stop.
The ‘Republicans hate poor people and they especially hate me personally and are literally only doing this out of pettiness’ line is pretty standard by now, but claiming that Medicaid expansion comes at “zero cost to these states”? …What is he talking about? Do you have a thought you’d like to finish there, sir? Maybe something about how the federal government will only pay 100 percent of the expansion costs through 2016, dropping to at least 90 percent thereafter, and it’s actually a hugely expensive endeavor with questionable health outcomes?
In Virginia, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe used Medicaid expansion as a centerpiece of his election campaign last year, and he has been trying to make the White House’s case about the seriously-almost-practically-free virtues of expanding Medicaid since he took office earlier this year. Funnily enough, McAuliffe is not only failing to convince the commonwealth’s Republican legislators on the matter — Virginia voters are actually shifting away from the idea in rapid fashion.
The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University poll found that 53 percent of the state’s voters oppose enrolling more Virginians in the federal-state health program for the poor, a sharp reversal from February, when the center found that 56 percent backed expansion.
McAuliffe (D) and a slim majority of the evenly divided state Senate have pushed this year to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, saying it would provide insurance to up to 400,000 needy Virginians and boost the economy. The Republican-dominated House has opposed expansion, raising doubts about the federal government’s ability to pay most of the $2 billion-a-year cost and stressing the need to first rein in the existing Medicaid program.
“Democrats are losing the debate on expanding Medicaid in Virginia,” Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center, said in a written statement. “This is mostly because they are not convincing Independents that it’s a good idea. But even in the usually friendly territory of Northern Virginia, the debate is not going their way.”
The Medicaid debate has stalled out the passage of Virginia’s two-year budget, and worries are already circulating that if the stalemate isn’t solved by the time Virginia’s fiscal year begins on July 1st, the commonwealth could be looking at a shutdown situation. I find this singularly and painfully hilarious, because McAuliffe actually campaigned on being the guy who wouldn’t bring Washington, D.C.-style brinkmanship to Virginia. You can’t make this stuff up.