• 5241 Finchley Lane
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 23455
  • (757) 636-1775
PUBLIC PROFILE

Medicaid Expansion Passed by Virginia General Assembly

Posted by Chip Block on June 4, 2018 9:30 AM EDT
Chip Block photo

Despite a vigorous debate for many months, absolute support from the newly elected Virginia governor and much political gamesmanship....

...Virginia has become the 33rd state in the U.S. to accept the benefit of federal tax dollars to expand Medicaid coverage to an additional estimated 400,000 newly-qualified.  So, what does that mean...and how does someone like me who has written on this topic many times in this blog space feel about it now?

My answer to both questions is a resounding "I'm not sure"....

Here's what I mean.  I have not been a blind supporter of Medicaid expansion for Medicaid expansion's sake.  It has always felt like it was important to do.  At least it's important from the humanitarian perspective.  It seemed wrong to tax citizens an incremental tax at the federal level and not provide a benefit back to the state, in this case, Virginia.  And having seen Medicaid taken away for a large percentage of the population it's always seemed to me to be fair to give it back.

But what I am not sure about is what really changes.  Most of the editorials I have read, even two fine ones that were published in The Virginian-Pilot last Sunday (Sunday, June 3rd Opinions section of The Virginian-Pilot included a fine editorial board lead editorial and an equally fine offering in the Other Views section as an op-ed piece by Gordon Morse) have stopped short of acknowledging that there will be changes that will forward better health care at lower costs, better access and that will lead to better health for the  Medicaid-insured population than would be the case without it.

So, until I read about or hear about the fine print requirements that were effective enough changes to Medicaid that it could garner solid support from enough Republicans that the bill would pass, then I remain "unsure" about the impact Medicaid expansion will have on improving the general population's health in Virginia-and reduce the health care cost burden of the specific Medicaid expansion's beneficiaries.

I'm hoping that the expansion will look more like the managed services portion of Medicaid.  That it will require healthy living plans, compliance, accountability and transparency for the beneficiaries of Medicaid.  I'd like to see that this population becomes a kind of control group for an innovative and expandable/repeatable solution that can be expanded to Medicare and to the broader population as well.  

For you see, I don't see insurance as a way to drive fundamental improvement in population health.  Nor do I see it as a trigger for a fundamental change in the cost and quality of health care itself.  Until those two things are dealt with in powerfully new ways...and in ways that can be sustained and rapidly adopted across the entire country, then I will continue to answer "I'm not sure" if my advocacy for Medicaid expansion will really be positively satisfied.  And on the topic of transformational change, one question I can answer that "I'm sure" about is this one:  "can there be a dramatic improvement in population health?"  By a leap of faith and evidence of other solutions that may seem equally more difficult, I say "I'm sure" it can happen....but now sure when, and how and by whom. 

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

Execution Matters for Sustained Innovation and Better Results
There's a lot of literature and research abounds regarding which is more important, innovation or...
read more
RecoveryTrek: Provider for EAP Benefit Offering, CareTrek
It has been suggested that it would be helpful to provide some background.....
read more
CareTrek: An Innovative, Comprehensive Addiction Recovery EAP That Works!
I'm pleased to share some new, updated information about the innovative, integrated and complete...
read more
Applicable Lessons from LSU's "Big Easy" National Championship
Having the good fortune of almost a week to reflect on the truly amazing yearlong feats of LSU's...
read more
Keeper's Watch: A Special Life Appreciated and a Dog Well Loved
They are forever blessed. They can't talk, yet they communicate with passion and compassion. They...
read more
John Kotter's Change Management Model Applied to Late Career Wellbeing
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about applying John Kotter's 8 step process for change...
read more
2020: The Precious Present of Happiness, Health and Prosperity
Quite some time ago, I was given "The Precious Present" a parable-style book written by Dr. Spencer...
read more
2020: Happiness, Health and Prosperity
The year 2020 brings to mind the idea of "focus". Not just "vision" in the long term sense of the...
read more
Strategic Innovation: 10 Business Rules Applied to Career Wellbeing
After taking a quick look at Chip Block's blog from New Year's Even 2019, it became clear that the...
read more
Applying Ten Lessons for Business Greatness to Older Workers' Careers
Since we have posted a series of blogs about career wellbeing for older workers, I thought it would...
read more

Go to blog