The Common Good

Tough To Connect Dots On Ligamfelter's Medicaid Position

Date: August 5, 2014

This letter is not to question the sincerity of Virginia Delegate Scott Lingamfelter’s position (“State GOP stood on principle”, Fairfax Times, Aug. 1-3) regarding the state budget, but I do question his wisdom, and I am doing so as one of his constituents. He is proud of the fact that “we have a budget — one that does not expand Obamacare in Virginia.” He believes that he and like-minded legislators acted wisely. I do not...

As Jim Wallis, a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and acclaimed commentator on ethics and public life, has frequently noted: “Budgets are moral documents.”

The moral aspects of Virginia’s budget have been addressed by the various faith communities in the Commonwealth and have been persuasively articulated by the Catholic bishops of Virginia in their statement (April 11, 2014) on expanding Medicaid: “Our advocacy is informed by...teaching that, first, everyone has the right to life, and second, healthcare is a right – not a privilege – that flows from the right to life itself… Virginia should start accepting federal money that can provide nearly 400,000 of its poorest residents the health insurance they currently lack and desperately need.”