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House, Senate budgets take differing approaches to Medicaid expansion

Democrat vs. Republican on whiteThe House of Delegates released a budget plan for Virginia for the next two years that rejects calls from Gov. Terry McAuliffe to expand the state’s Medicaid rolls. A competing Senate plan would create a prvate-insurance Marketplace Virginia that would increase the number of low-income Virginians who receive publicly-funded health insurance, though not under the Medicaid program.

Being left on the table by both proposals is $2 billion a year in federal tax dollars that would go to fund the expansion of Virginia’s Medicaid system to add an additional 400,000 to the eligibility list.

Gov. McAuliffe issued a statement on the budget proposals from the two houses focusing his criticism on the House plan.

“I am disappointed that the House budget fails to accept more than $2 billion per year in federal tax dollars that should be directed to Virginia families. Instead, the House uses $45 million in state tax dollars for an inadequate and inefficient stopgap measure to attempt to help our hospitals,” McAuliffe said, calling it “fiscally irresponsible to ask Virginians to pay this cost twice.”

“The House should join an overwhelming majority of Virginia business leaders, health providers and 27 other states that have decided to utilize federal resources to close the coverage gap. This is clearly a case of partisan ideology driving a bad business decision,” McAuliffe said.

augusta free press
augusta free press