Virginia lawmakers vote to expand Medicaid program

Virginia lawmakers vote to expand Medicaid program

Four Republicans joined all 19 Democrats, by a vote of 23-17, to pass a two-year $115 billion budget that includes Medicaid expansion.

Northam said he predicts the budget bill will land on his desk this week. He is expected to sign it into law.

Sen. Tommy Norment led the charge against expansion, citing concerns that it would lead to heavy costs for the state in the future and said the debate has gotten too negative.

The Virginia House of Delegates voted Wednesday night to send legislation containing Medicaid expansion to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who is expected to sign the bills into law.

The leanness - some say stinginess - of the current Medicaid program partly accounts for Virginia's reluctance to expand. "To have Medicaid expansion would really help us to end services even more so in the community". In particular, we offer our gratitude to House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Chris Jones, Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger, Governor Ralph Northam, Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, Senator Frank Wagner, Senator Ben Chafin, Senator Jill Vogel, House Minority Leader David Toscano, and the dozens of other individual Senators and Delegates from both parties who supported the compromise budget. Going into the election, Republicans held a 66-34 majority, but now barely maintain control at 51-49. It was a stunning turn of events after decades of rule by Republicans. The budget includes a provision which asks the federal government to approve work requirements for newly covered starting in January 2019.

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The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association also released a statement Wednesday calling the expansion of Medicaid coverage "an important step" on behalf of many Virginians. State officials are reviewing the 58,000 signatures to see whether they meet requirements. But it's unclear how the state will do that. Some 138,000 residents fell in the coverage gap, as they earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for subsidized private insurance available on the Obamacare marketplace.

"In the years I have been in the Senate, I have never been treated more disrespectfully by some of these advocacy groups", he said in a lengthy floor speech.

"The loudest voices in this long-standing conversation on Medicaid expansion have been those of Virginians".

In a unusual turn of events, former Pennsylvania Sen. The unpopularity of President Trump in Virginia spurred some Republicans to switch their vote who might not have done so if Hillary Clinton had become president, said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. (Congress still doesn't have the votes needed to pass Trumpcare.) But his efforts were apparently unsuccessful. The former state senator and lieutenant governor, a soft-spoken pediatrician and former Army doctor once wooed by Republicans, has close friends on both sides of the aisle.

McPike called the vote a "big win for the people of Virginia". Utah will let voters decide in November in a healthcare initiative whether to expand its program.

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