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SoVaNow.com / March 06, 2013Dear Viewpoint,
In his editorial in the February 27 edition of The Mecklenburg Sun, Tom McLaughlin asserts that expanding the Medicaid program in Virginia would make good economic sense, especially since in his words, “the best part, purely from the standpoint of who pays, is that it’s the federal government that pays...” inferring that the costs of Medicaid expansion in Virginia would be “free.” This argument is pure and utter nonsense, and just a continuation of the Washington D.C. fairy tale that the federal government is some sort of bottomless piggy bank that can bankroll any new program that our elected officials dream up. The last time I looked, Virginia represented 1/50th of the federal government, and unless you’ve deluded yourself into thinking that the taxpayers in New York or California will subsidize programs in Virginia out of the goodness of their hearts, then the taxpayers in Virginia will bear their share of whatever federal burden comes out of the expansion of Medicaid. Truth be told, since California and New York are economic basket cases, it’s more likely that taxpayers in Virginia, which currently has a better economic situation, will end up subsidizing states like New York and California instead.
While no one can argue the morality of providing health care to the least fortunate amongst us, please let’s not use the ridiculous justification that because federal tax dollars are being used, the costs of the program to Virginia will be free. It is that kind of delusional thinking that has gotten this country into our economic mess in the first place.