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Setting The Record Straight: Medicaid Expansion

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Let’s set the record straight on healthcare.

I wrote and carried legislation, SB 915, that included coverage for many conditions that had not been covered before in Medicaid, including mental health disorders, life threatening illness, chronic medical conditions and addiction. It raised the eligible poverty level to 138%, the same as medicaid expansion. As proposed it would have ensured care for over 100,000 Virginians. What it didn’t do was offer coverage to healthy, childless adults.

Instead SB 915 directed resources to Virginians with disabilities, mental health crises, brain injury, and children with adverse childhood experiences. Medicaid expansion did not. SB 915 passed the Senate unanimously. Democrats and Republicans all seemed to think it was a pretty good idea. It was never heard in the House.

As of the last enrollment update, 280,000 people have signed up for coverage under Medicaid Expansion. Over 100,000 of those people have not had a single doctors visit yet. We are paying over $500 monthly for them to have health insurance, while they are not seeking care. That’s $500 x 100,000 monthly for those not seeking care versus my plan that was designed to help those in need. Paying health premiums is not the same as caring for people. Many Virginians need care now, my plan would have covered 100,000 of them with health insurance and many others who have been neglected for too long.

We have many serious issues in healthcare, problems we can solve, and I am working to do that by identifying the problems, finding creative solutions and building consensus and using our resources wisely.

For the record, pregnant women and children were already covered under traditional Medicaid all the way up to 200% of poverty. Expansion DID NOT expand access or eligibility for pregnant women and children and the false claim that it did and I opposed it, made by my opponent’s allies, is particularly offensive to me as an OB-GYN who has spent over 20 years caring for pregnant women.

It seems some well funded political action committees want to convince you that I don’t want to help people. I'm glad to set the record straight.

I’m proud of my record in the Senate. I’ve done what I promised. I work hard to identify and solve problems. I have a lot of substance to talk about.

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