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Change in Virginia: "Make Medicaid Expansion Happen"

Posted by Chip Block on March 10, 2018 5:30 PM EST
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After writing my previous two blogs about the well-written "Op Ed" pieces in The Virginian-Pilot, I was pleased to see a wrap-up editorial in the Our Views portion of The Virginian-Pilot's Opinion section in the newspaper's Thursday, March 8th edition.  However, again, the piece....

...focused on the political aspect of the legislation that goes to vote next week in the Virginia legislature and the writer(s) of it again focused their endorsement on the decision to expand Medicaid and on the quality of the political process leading up to the vote.  Particularly noteworthy in the editorial was the role new Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has played in helping create the legislation and the bi-partisan support the went into it.

So, this third editorial piece, while well-written and logical and in many ways very astute, it like the other two pieces were written in support of the legislation falls short in terms of really placing the emphasis on the parts of the legislation that will really make a difference in the issues that are driving up the cost of healthcare, which I have already mentioned in my previous blogs.  What I yearn to read more about is what specifically in this landmark legislation and this early Governor political victory and in this model of bi-partisan compromise is going to change the continuance of a decade's long health care crisis which is driven by an increasingly unhealthy population.

Here's the bottom line:  I join many other moderates and conservatives alike in saying that I don't have any interest in expanding Medicaid without meaningful changes to it in terms of how it is administered, how recipients change their behavior and contribute to the reduction in health care costs and how the politics of expanding "entitlement" programs to people who are not entitled because they are not paying their fair share and apparently are being educated on making better health care consumer choices, are not being held accountable to comply with a plan of lifestyle changes that will result in better long term health and are not being placed in a program where they are rewarded for better health rather than rewarded for having poor health and given better health care insurance than the majority of hard-working Virginians.

That said, there must be something good in the legislation for it to have garnered such bi-partisan support.  I'm looking forward to learning more about that because, until the critical elements of Context (a healthy living plan for all people), compliance measures to ensure those being given such an "entitlement" are living up to it, measuring results and rewarding healthy purchasing choices and lifestyle choices, then we really don't have anything important to cheer about other than "patting ourselves on the back" for passing new legislation that does not make a difference.

It is way past time for us to have something in place that really, really does make a difference!

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