House budget proposal will include $124.2 million in healthcare safety net funding

healthcareThe House budget proposal unveiled Sunday will include $124.2 in funding for mental health care coverage and targeted safety net services for needy Virginians, House leaders announced Thursday.

The funding will provide targeted treatment services to the seriously mentally ill, nearly double funding for Virginia’s free clinics and build on past investments in community health services. The House budget will reject Governor McAuliffe’s effort to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and will not fund Governor McAuliffe’s “Healthy Virginia” entitlement program. The House Appropriations Committee will present the House budget on Sunday, February 8 at 1 p.m.

Del. John O’Bannon (R-Henrico) said, “The House Republican proposal will strengthen the safety net for the neediest people in Virginia. It increases access to services without creating a new government program.”

“Last year, the General Assembly made significant investments in mental health care. We are building on those investments and strengthening the healthcare safety net for needy Virginians,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk). “The House budget proposal unveiled Sunday will be consistent with our past approach of making targeted investments in behavioral health care services and our free clinic system.”

Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Steve Landes (R-Augusta) said, “The House of Delegates overwhelmingly rejected Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion three times in 2014. Expanding Medicaid is the wrong approach. It relies on the false promise of free federal money and creates a new welfare entitlement system for able-bodied working adults. Our approach increases access to existing services for the neediest Virginians. We are providing access to mental health care treatment, increasing access to primary care services through free clinics and building on our work to provide comprehensive community behavioral health treatment.”

Yesterday, Delegate T. Scott Garrett announced on the House floor that the House budget will eliminate $10.2 million in fees proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, including the restaurant inspection fee, weights and measures fee and the underground storage deductible increase. Chairman Chris Jones announced last week that the House budget will include pay raises for state police, state employees, state-supported local employees and teachers.

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