RICHMOND, VA – The official consensus forecast for Virginia Medicaid, long-term care and mental health services expenditures through fiscal year 2018 is up nearly $300 million, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Budget delivered to the General Assembly money committee chairs. The $281 million in projected new state costs would be a 7.4 increase for FY 2017 and a 4.3% increase for FY 2018.
“The official consensus forecast shows the ongoing challenges we face with our Medicaid program,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “We continue to see costs on an unsustainable trajectory, even when enrollment levels stay the same. We must look at ways to reform Medicaid in order to protect precious taxpayer’s dollars. This forecast reinforces the wisdom of our decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.”
Speaking about the report House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) said, “We cannot ignore the truth on Medicaid. Medicaid remains the largest growth driver in our budget. Medicaid expenditures will consume the largest share of available revenue, limiting our options in K-12 education, higher education and public safety as we try to make up an already large shortfall. This strengthens our position that Virginia must continue to reform its current Medicaid program before we consider expansion.”
“Virginia’s Medicaid program continues to grow at an unsustainable rate consuming more resources, putting more pressure on other areas of the budget,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk).
“We face significant challenges this coming General Assembly session. Not only do we need to close a significant budget shortfall, but we must now do so with even fewer resources due to significant growth in Medicaid,” said House Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta). “Every additional dollar we spend on Medicaid takes away from our ability to invest in education. It’s time to look for ways to implement reforms that will achieve savings for the Commonwealth.”