Healthcare Spending Drives Growth in Virginia Budget over Last 10 Years

by James C. Sherlock

On December 16, the Director of the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget provided a briefing for the Joint Meeting of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Finance Committee.  

The subject was the Governor’s proposed amendments to the 2020-2022 Biennial Budget. The Governor submitted the revised budget discussed in that briefing and it was introduced as matching bills by the chairpersons of the Senate and House appropriations committees on December 16.

There is plenty of information of interest in there. 

There are commentators on this blog far more experienced than I in the Virginia budget, but I have pulled out two charts that make a point.

Healthcare (Medicaid and Behavioral Health & Developmental Services) is eating the budget at an ever growing rate. If the relative growth rates are sustained, it will soon surpass K-12 education funding.  If we accept the growth rates in excess of inflation, then taxes must increase to meet it.

When we talk about uncontrolled cost increases in healthcare in Virginia, the budget is one of the losers.

That may or may not be OK with readers, but it must be faced.