"This budget included the much-debated Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which will add more than 300,000 new beneficiaries to Virginia's Medicaid program.
"I opposed this expansion. Even without the expansion, Medicaid has been growing unsustainably and much faster than the rest of the budget. Since 2003, state Medicaid spending has tripled, from $1.75 billion to a projected $5.28 billion in 2020, which means it has grown from 14% of the general fund to its current 23%. I believe the expansion will only make these spending increases worse in the future.
"I had other concerns about the budget. To help pay for the "state share" of the Medicaid expansion, Virginia will impose a new $600 million tax on hospitals. I believe this will inevitably be passed on to patients through their bills and increased insurance premiums.
"In all, the state budget grew from $52.6 million in 2018 to $58.9 million in 2020, a 12% increase. This is not a budget I could vote for."
Delegate Rob Bell