Many of the people who may be losing out by not expanding Medicaid are state employees. The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Virginia’s working poor population is made up of thousands of state employees.
Full-time state employees receiving federal assistance has rose at a rate of 150 percent from 2011 to 2013, with only 12 state employees receiving aid in 2007.The amount of state employees receiving food stamps has also doubled in the last two years and the the number of people receiving Medicaid benefits has also increased from 97 to 729 in the same time period.
In 2013 there were over 9,600 full time state employees who were eligible for a federal tax subsidy for low income families, the earned-income tax credit. This trend reflects the wage stagnation and its effects it has had on the state’s government workforce of about 100,000, who from the outside may have appeared to be stable and well paid.
Governor McAuliffe said in a recent interview “I don’t think some people realize how hard people are having to work just to get by.” He continued “We have deputy sheriffs in the commonwealth of Virginia that are on food stamps,” noting that he doesn’t “think most people realize that folks who put on a uniform every day and protect us, they’re on food assistance programs.”