I read with interest the letter from Robert Stewart regarding my recent op-ed on Medicaid expansion (“LeMunyon’s position on Medicaid coverage flawed,“ March 20, 2014). In referring to me, Mr. Stewart asserts that Medicaid expansion “would benefit the working poor in Virginia and cover 38,670 in his district — a statistic he either did not know, but should have, or purposely omitted.”
In fact, I was aware of this statistic, which was included in a report of the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Richmond. Unfortunately, Mr. Stewart cites this figure incorrectly. The 38,670 is the number of people the Commonwealth Institute states may be eligible for Medicaid under the proposed expansion who live in all of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties combined, not just in the 67th district I represent, which encompasses only a small portion of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
As far as I know, there is no data on this subject available specific to each legislative district. However, since the population of the 67th district is approximately 1/18th of the total 1.45 million population of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, the number of people eligible for Medicaid expansion in the 67th district could be estimated to be approximately 2,200 people.
While this number is significantly smaller than what Mr. Stewart incorrectly states, it should not diminish the seriousness of the health care issue.
Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Dist. 67)