Virginia ranks no. 48th in the Nation for state medicaid benefits. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion would create 30,000 jobs. While the project would cost the state 137.5 million in the first nine years (much less than the initial estimate of 2.2 billion), it would save the state billions in the long run. It makes common sense, yet our Governor, Bob McDonnell is opposed. The new budget, announced this week, reflects his opposition by not including it.
With better access to health care in Virginia, coupled with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (which says insurance must cover mental health and substance abuse issues as effectively as it covers, say, broken bones and the flu), low and middle class families and individuals would finally have better access to substance abuse treatment and get on the road to recovery. It's typical that once someone hits their bottom and is ready to get clean, they don't have enough money to access treatment or at least, a detox facility. Medicaid expansion is a great idea, creating jobs and saving the government a lot of money in the long run. It just makes sense.
Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act
Medicaid Expansion in Virginia Economy