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Parents Beware: Medicaid Depleting Education Funds in Virginia

By Susan Lider
Virginians for Quality Healthcare

Ralph Northam, 73d Governor of Virginia (By Rockhead126 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

In his inaugural address, new Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that expanding Medicaid tops his list of priorities this legislative session. Is that really a good policy for Virginians?

The January 16, 2018, Foundation for Government Accountability report How the ObamaCare dependency crisis could get even worse — and how to stop it points out the pitfalls of Medicaid expansion. If Virginia were to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, at least 506,000 able-bodied adults would be added to welfare rolls, costing the state $28.8 billion over the next ten years. And more than 16,000 truly needy individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities would be added to waiting lists, forced to wait for care they need.

How would Medicaid expansion impact education funding in Virginia? Statistics reported in the Virginia Senate Finance Committee November 17, 2017, presentation Trends in Virginia Medicaid and Opportunities to Shift the Cost Curve, slide 4, provides us with some insight. According to this report, FY 1985 Medicaid spending was 6% of the budget with Education (K-12 + Higher Education) spending at 55%. The FY2018 budget has Medicaid at 23% and Education at 40%. This is without expanding Medicaid. Imagine what it will be if Medicaid is expanded even if the federal government picks up some of the cost via taxpayers.

Do Virginia parents want their taxes going to more Medicaid spending or Education?