Budget growth due in large part to Medicaid growth

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A new report shows that growing Medicaid spending is responsible for much of the growth in the Virginia state budget. A report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission issued Tuesday showed that Medicaid spending rose by 75 percent from fiscal 2006 to 2016. That accounted for 25 percent of the state budget’s total growth from $32 billion to $47 billion during that time. Enrollment in Medicaid and a similar children’s program grew from 76,000 in 2006 to 113,000 in 2015. The federal government and Virginia share the costs of Medicaid, which provides publicly funded health care to the poor and disabled. Republican lawmakers have blocked Democratic Gov. Terry McAullife’s proposed expansion of Medicaid, which would be largely funded by the federal government.

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