A deadlock in the state’s budget, centered over Medicare reimbursement expansion, may have far reaching consequences for smaller localities, especially those on the Northern Neck.
On Monday, March 24, Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe attempted to open the door to the currently deadlocked commonwealth’s budget negotiations by proposing a health-care system that would include $225M in state savings by the expansion of Medicaid.
It was a move that divided the Republican controlled House, who do not favor expansion, and could parlay into a budget that might not be passed until long after local jurisdictions have to set their yearly line-item incomes and expenditures.
With both sides of the commonwealth now fighting over whose bill should go forth first in response to the Medicaid impasse, the result could be devastating.
Without knowing what state funding will be, localities are blindfolded as to their appropriations and left with little recourse but to go by last year’s budget and “guesstimate” what they may receive.
It is a situation that has 99th District Margaret Ransone (R- Westmoreland) clearly concerned for her constituents, many of whom are in rural localities which will be hit hardest by the stalemate as they heavily rely on state appropriations to balance their slim budgets.
The core issue being debated is what is termed as the “Health Care Gap,” which consists mainly of single individuals without health benefits or insurance that lack what the Affordable Care Act deems as “necessary.”
First and foremost, Ransone said that the most important thing for people to understand was the difference between Medicare and Medicaid and how that pertains to the Gap.
During a March 21 interview with the Northern Neck News, Ransone explained that the largest group of people affected by the expansion are single adults. Additionally, Ransone highlighted the differences between the two health policies, which she said can often be confusing due to their similar names.
According to Ransone the differences are as follows:
-Read the full story in this week’s Northern Neck News!