On Wednesday, May 30, the Virginia Senate passed a budget that included Medicaid expansion. The vote required support from both parties in the Senate to pass 23-17. The House of Delegates followed later that evening with a vote of 67-31 to pass the budget. It will now go to the Governor's desk.

MSV is pleased that more Virginians will have access to health coverage. Our top priority as expansion is implemented is that every Medicaid beneficiary has access to a physician, and that those physicians have a system that facilitates their care for this often vulnerable population.

Throughout this discussion, we have expressed concern and advocated for innovative approaches to creating a sustainable Medicaid system that allows physicians and other health care providers to consistently provide the quality of care people deserve. If we do not address administrative challenges and Medicaid rates, despite having insurance, individuals will not have access to their physician or needed care. We look forward to working with policymakers to implement innovative approaches to increase access to quality health care in Virginia.

A primary example of success with Virginia’s Medicaid program is the Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) program, developed by DMAS and championed by the MSV. ARTS has dramatically increased addiction treatment services, while reducing overall costs. ARTS demonstrates that investing in providers increases access to meaningful services for Virginians.

Stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks. Your voice will be vital to ensure policymakers across the Commonwealth enact key next steps as implementation occurs.