And Democratic Governor-Elect Ralph Northam hasn’t even taken office yet (boldface mine):
Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) tried every year to push the legislature to accept millions in federal money to expand the health program to hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. Northam campaigned heavily on the promise of getting more Virginians access to health care.
He said Friday that he remains committed to that pledge, but that he must be careful about obligating the state to escalating costs. Under the program, the federal government pays the lion’s share in the early years but the state contribution gradually increases. “Medicaid is growing in Virginia by 5 to 7 percent, in that ballpark, every year,” he said.
“So I look forward to . . . seeing how we can provide better service and at the same time cut costs” through “managed-care Medicaid,” he said.
A managed system would involve rewarding “healthy choices,” he said. “I want people to have skin in the game. I want to incentivize people to really have good health.”
And although some people who need Medicaid cannot work — children, some pregnant women, people with certain disabilities — others can, he said. “I want to help them get back on the workforce [through] training,” he said.
Of course, during the campaign Ralph Northam struck a different tune:
Online, especially on the Twitterz, there’s a lot of ‘if politician X doesn’t do Y, then he shall feel the voters wrath!’ twaddle. But healthcare is very important to voters: exit polls from the Virginia 2017 election indicate that healthcare, far and away, was the issue, particularly among Democrats–which is to say, Northam’s base. They are not looking for bullshit about cost-containment. They want–and some desperately need–Medicaid expansion. And Medicaid isn’t just about low-income people: Medicaid also plays a critical role in making nursing home and in-home care affordable. They and their loved ones vote.
Instead, he burbled on about civility, which really isn’t important to someone who needs healthcare–or who is terrified of losing it. And in an election where black turnout was decisive, what group will get hurt the most if Medicaid isn’t expanded? Yup.
Tactically, this is yet one more damn case of Democrats negotiating against themselves before negotiating with Republicans has even started. Which has worked out splendidly.
I’m starting to think that maybe voting for the economically leftish guy who voted for Stupak-Mills (which was bad. Very bad) would have been better than voting for the New Democrat who voted for the most anti-abortion president ever twice (Bush 43). Regardless, once again, Democrats will have to fight the leaders of their own party. Same as it ever was.
If you live in Virginia and voted Democratic, you might want to contact Northam and your local representatives about this. Let them know why you voted for them.