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Medicaid Expansion, a Saving or a Drag on the Budget?

Opponents of expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program say the state’s lower than projected revenue numbers for FY2014 highlight why closing the coverage gap is something the state can’t afford, while supporters argue that expansion will save the state money.

Republican Delegate Steve Landes of Augusta County, the Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, says the state can’t count on Washington to cover the costs of expansion beyond 2022. Brian Coy, spokesman for Governor Terry McAuliffe says Landes is ignoring an independent Price- Waterhouse-Cooper actuarial analysis, which showed that Medicaid expansion would save the Virginia budget $1 billion between now and 2022.

Coy says the state can use the estimated $225 million in annual savings from closing the coverage gap to offset cuts to schools public safety and other state services.