A Statement by the Tidewater Libertarian Party
The financial risks and costs of Medicaid expansion for Virginia are well documented in other sources, so leaving those aside, we, in the Tidewater Libertarian Party will address the objections to Medicaid expansion based on economic principle.
Currently, through Medicare, Medicaid and current and veteran Military health care programs, government at all levels controls 45% of health care in the United States. Medicaid expansion will further increase the government share of health care control.
Based on other State’s experience with Medicaid expansion, as many as 60% of new Medicaid recipients were previously insured by private sector plans rather than uninsured. This ‘crowd out’ of private insurance is a result of eligibility increases among lower income, but employer insured families. The appeal to individuals to transition to Medicaid is obvious. While employer provided private insurance is often at little or no cost to the employee, deductibles and co-payments have grown in recent years as insurers seek to encourage better consumer control of costs. Medicaid has no deductibles or co-payments, thus making it attractive to employees who can qualify and drop their employer provided insurance. The result is a massive shift of economic responsibility for health care from employers and employees to the taxpayer.
Just as threatening is the increase in the share of the health care market under government control. While the dangers to a competitive market posed by monopolies or restricted numbers of suppliers are well known, the dangers of monopsonies, with a restricted number of buyers, are just as grave. As we approach a single payer system incrementally, quality and availability of care deteriorate.
Medicaid expansion is really little more than an incremental, back door step toward Single Payer, a concept the American people have rejected when it has been presented openly.
So, regardless of the relative costs of accepting or rejecting Medicaid expansion, The Tidewater Libertarian Party rejects the concept as un-American and economically catastrophic.