In the recent debate in Yakima, gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said that implementing Medicaid expansion in Washington would be a mistake.
There are currently 1 million uninsured Washingtonians, with that number expected to continue growing. In times like these, protecting seniors, children, the disabled and hard-working families should be our state’s top priority.
If implemented, Medicaid expansion would cover an additional 328,000 Washingtonians who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance. Because the federal government is paying all or 90 percent of the costs for the foreseeable future, turning down this opportunity would be a step backward for Washington.
Medicaid expansion would also have a positive impact on Washington’s economic growth by bringing in $8.3 billion in federal dollars and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. It would ensure that we have a healthy population and workforce, thus contributing to our state’s long-term prosperity. Medicaid expansion is not only the moral thing to do, it’s the practical thing to do.
McKenna’s views are out of touch with the needs of Washingtonians. Our state needs leaders who have the best interests of our families and our economy at heart.