Republican legislators in the Virginia House of Delegates Monday called for an independent, comprehensive operational and financial audit of Virginia’s Medicaid program as part of the work of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission created by the 2013 General Assembly. House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta) and members of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission introduced the text of a resolution that would direct the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee to study, review and audit Virginia’s Medicaid program. The audit would complement the work of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission.
“Medicaid is a broken program in need of reform. Medicaid spending has grown by 1600% over the last 30 years. As much as 30 cents of every healthcare dollar in Virginia is wasted, and Medicaid is fraught with fraud and abuse. Under no circumstances can you justify expanding a program growing at such an unsustainable level and filled with this much waste, fraud and abuse,” said Speaker Howell. “We are not going to rush the legislative process established by both chambers last year, simply for the sake of making a decision.”
Delegate Steve Landes, Vice Chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, outlined the text of a resolution that would direct JLARC, the legislature’s independent study commission, to review various aspects of the Medicaid program and contract with an outside auditor to conduct a thorough financial audit.
“As a member of the MIRC, I have learned a great deal about Virginia’s Medicaid program over the last year,” said Delegate Landes. “And perhaps the most important thing I have learned is that Medicaid is more fundamentally broken that we originally thought. Medicaid is growing at an unsustainable rate and now consumes over one-fifth of our state budget. Patients are not receiving the quality care they deserve. The reforms the General Assembly outlined last year are a solid first step, but we are going to need to know much more before we can even consider expansion. This audit would review various aspects of Medicaid and allow members of the MIRC to have a deeper understanding of the challenges we face as we continue to reform and improve this important program.”