Va. Gov. Considers Options On Medicaid Expansion As GOP Nurses Wounds
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe was unsuccessful in his effort to get a divided legislature to agree to expand health coverage to thousands of poor state residents. Analysts watch to see if he will work to expand Medicaid on his own.
The Washington Post: In Virginia, The Road To A Budget Comes With Twists And Turns
Virginia seemed hopelessly locked in a partisan budget and Medicaid standoff, careening toward its first-ever government shutdown. Yet for weeks behind the scenes, a handful of lawmakers were hammering out a deal. ... Even as the GOP took full control of the legislature, thwarting Medicaid expansion and dimming the legislative prospects for McAuliffe’s entire term, the Republican Party's insecurities and internal fractures were on vivid display. Conservative Republicans, already suspicious that McAuliffe will attempt through executive order what he cannot win through the legislature, made it clear that they also distrust the GOP pragmatists in their midst (Vozzella, 6/15).
NBC News: Old Dominion Risk: Virginia's McAuliffe Weighs Obamacare Play
Is Terry McAuliffe willing to stake his entire governorship on Obamacare just five months into his tenure? Republicans in the Virginia state legislature this week won a standoff with the former DNC chairman that has been brewing since McAuliffe assumed office in January. A Democratic resignation in the state senate Monday cleared the way for both houses to pass a budget barring McAuliffe from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now, the governor faces a huge decision about one of his top legislative priorities – whether he expands Medicaid on his own (Bacon, 6/13).
The Associated Press: McAuliffe Blasts Tea Party After Budget Vote
All eyes are now on McAuliffe to see what he does with the budget and how he responds to a major setback of one of the top priorities of his young administration. The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income residents with the federal government paying for most of the expense. Democrats largely favor expansion, saying that would help the working poor, while Republicans argue the state can't afford a large increase of a costly entitlement program (6/13).
Reuters: Virginia Lawmakers Pass Budget, Nix Medicaid Expansion
Virginia's Republican-controlled legislature passed a two-year budget late on Thursday that shot down the Democratic governor's proposal to expand Medicaid and closed a $1.55 billion revenue shortfall. Expanding Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people, to about 400,000 Virginians under the federal Affordable Care Act had been Governor Terry McAuliffe's chief legislative priority. He has not said whether he will approve the lawmakers' spending plan. McAuliffe, in a stand-off for months with Republicans, had linked the budget to Medicaid expansion. The impasse was broken this week when a Democratic state senator said he resigned to secure his daughter a judgeship, giving the Republicans control of the upper chamber (6/15).