Today marks the day that Virginia has lost $250 million – one quarter of a Billion dollars – by rejecting the opportunity to cover its uninsured citizens. We will continue to lose $5 million each day that we delay providing coverage to 400,000 uninsured Virginians. The Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition held a press conference to relay this troubling news to the public. The press release is available here.
Dr. Richard Szucs, Past President of the Richmond Academy of Medicine and the President of the medical staff at Bon Secours St. Mary’s, quantified what Virginians could have bought with that $250 million:
- 4,897,160 primary care visits
- 3,815,628 mental health screening visits
- 4,798,464 inhalers
- 12.5 million boxes of insulin text strips (25 day supply)
- 5,950,000 mammograms
- 358,166 colonoscopies
On Sunday, the House of Delegates responded to this terrible loss of funding not by offering a plan to bring back Virginians’ tax dollars to provide health coverage to low-income Virginians, but by asking Virginians to pay TWICE for the same thing. Instead of using the available federal dollars, they are allocating precious state dollars that could be used for education, transportation, and other key priorities. The House proposal is certainly not fiscally prudent.
Moreover, the House proposal to restore some cuts to hospitals and give health clinics $3 million a year is a drop in the bucket compared the federal money we can use right now. The graph to the right shows how little help the House provides compared to the opportunity Virginia has now to close the coverage gap.
Each day we delay action, Virginia loses an additional $5 million. Tell your legislators to support a plan that closes the coverage gap!