Virginia Assembly’s Vote to Expand Medicaid Will Benefit Small Businesses, Economy
Statement by Erik Rettig, Mid-Atlantic Director for Small Business Majority, on why the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of Medicaid expansion is welcome news for small firms
The Virginia General Assembly boosted small businesses today when it voted to expand the state’s Medicaid program as part of a budget plan. Giving more people access to affordable healthcare will level the playing field for small firms, foster a workforce that is healthier and more productive and direct additional funds to the state’s economy.
Expanding Medicaid is estimated to extend coverage to 400,000 Virginians, many of whom are low-income working adults. Since so many more employed adults will qualify for Medicaid, small businesses that cannot afford to offer health insurance will find it easier to compete for workers with big businesses that offer comprehensive health benefits. It will also help more entrepreneurs with limited resources access health coverage while they’re launching their businesses.
Additionally, Medicaid expansion will stimulate Virginia’s economy by bringing in more than $2 billion per year of federal money, resulting in an estimated 18,000 new jobs for the state.
Medicaid expansion can also help curb small business owners’ premium costs. When someone without insurance seeks medical care they can’t afford, the fees for that care often go unpaid. To cover their losses insurers charge the insured higher rates, and these increases mean higher premiums for everyone. Medicaid expansion, however, benefits the healthcare system overall by ensuring fewer individuals receive uncompensated care, so fewer costs will be passed on.
Expanded Medicaid programs help lower insurance costs for small businesses and help keep their workforce healthier, meaning small employers can worry less about health insurance and focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs. We are glad Virginia lawmakers came to an agreement to pass this important measure.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 58,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.