Medicaid Funding is “Pitiful”

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

By Jill Hanken, Virginia Poverty Law Center

While I agree with much of the article’s description of Virginia’s self-imposed fiscal dilemma (“The Big Pickle,” Jan. 18), I must take issue with the characterization of state funding needed to pay for “a horde of new Medicaid recipients because of the new federal health-care law.”

That law does establish a new national floor for Medicaid eligibility — 133 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 per year for an individual, about $30,000 for a family of four). Virginia’s Medicaid program has been one of the most restrictive in the country for decades — only covering low income parents with income below 30 percent of the poverty line, and not covering childless adults at all (unless pregnant, disabled or older than 65). Virginia’s per capita Medicaid spending is ranked 47th nationally, which is pitiful, considering it is ranked seventh highest in per-capita income.

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Published: February 7, 2012

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