JLARC report highlights responsible state spending and rising Medicaid growth

healthcareA Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report released Tuesday highlighted the General Assembly’s responsible spending and the continued growth of Medicaid in Virginia. The annual report tracks state spending over the last 10 years and is required by law. The report showed that general fund spending declined by by five percent over the last 10 years when adjusted for population and inflation, and that Medicaid spending remains the largest and fastest growing part of the state budget.

“Today’s JLARC report shows that the General Assembly, led by Republicans in the House of Delegates, continues to chart a responsible fiscal course for the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “General fund spending continues to decline when adjusted for population growth and inflation, which means we are making each taxpayer dollar go further. At the same time, however, our overall budget continues to grow due to growth in non-general fund spending and Medicaid. The alarming rate of Medicaid growth is more proof that Virginia cannot afford to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.”

“Led by the House of Delegates, the General Assembly continues to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “While Washington drowns in deficits and debt, anchored down by partisan gridlock, we are balancing budgets, setting priorities and making tough decisions. This report shows that our approach works.”

“The House Appropriations Committee and the House as a whole have consistently sought to responsibly invest in the core functions of government while being good stewards of taxpayer resources,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk). “General fund spending has declined five percent in the last 10 years when adjusted for population and inflation and the growth rate has declined for 15 state agencies. Another 23 agencies are growing at less than the rate of inflation. Taken as a whole, this report demonstrates the success of our conservative approach to budgeting.”

“While the Commonwealth is on a prudent fiscal path, there are warning signs that must be carefully monitored, especially with respect to Medicaid growth,” said Delegate R. Steven Landes (R-Augusta). “Medicaid remains the fastest growing part of our general fund budget, growing by 79% over the last 10 years. Medicaid accounts for 54% of all general fund growth. These numbers show exactly why the House of Delegates remains opposed to expanding Medicaid. Our current Medicaid program is already on an unsustainable path. Expansion would only make it worse.”

The full JLARC report can be found here.

Highlights from JLARC’s Annual Report on State Spending:

  • General fund spending has decreased by 5% over 10 years when adjusted for population and inflation
  • When only adjusted for inflation, the general fund grew by 3% over the last 10 years
  • Non general-fund spending is growing 49% faster than general fund spending
  • Spending growth declined for 15 state agencies
  • Spending grew at less than the rate of inflation for 23 state agencies
  • Medicaid is the fastest growing part of the general fund budget
  • General fund spending on Medicaid grew by 79% in 10 years, or $1.7 billion
  • Total appropriations for Medicaid grew by 75% in 10 years, or $3.7 billion
  • Medicaid accounted for 54% of all general fund spending growth in the last 10 years

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