McAuliffe includes Medicaid expansion money in final budget

terry mcauliffeTerry McAuliffe is taking one last shot at Medicaid expansion. The outgoing governor included Medicaid expansion in his final state budget blueprint, with a proviso that the state would accept federal money, which Republicans have resisted doing on three different occasions.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, offered a carrot to the GOP in his budget proposal, presented to state lawmakers on Monday, in the form of including full funding for the state’s rainy-day fund in his $114.9 billion, two-year budget.

The budget includes $1.7 billion in proposed new spending, with $400 million coming from the federal government to support the expansion of the Medicaid system in Virginia.

More than 400,000 working Virginians who can’t afford health insurance also don’t qualify for Medicaid under the state’s current eligibility formulas.

“I’ve fought to expand coverage to these Virginians every year for four straight years. As you know, that effort has repeatedly failed in the General Assembly, leaving hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors without access to basic care. We’ve filled that gap the best we could through my Governor’s Access Program and other measures to meet these needs. But we can – and should – be doing more,” McAuliffe said.

The effort to expand Medicaid now transfers to McAuliffe’s successor, Ralph Northam, who takes office next month. Northam may have a better chance of seeing success in the General Assembly with gains by Democrats in last month’s House of Delegates elections.

Democrats had held just 34 of the 100 seats in the House going into the election, but now hold 49, with recounts in three races leaving open the possibility of a 50-50 split or even a small Democratic majority.

“I remain fully committed to bringing our taxpayer dollars home to expand healthcare coverage to Virginians who need it,” Northam said. “The governor’s proposal will benefit nearly 400,000 people who need health care now, it will create tens of thousands of new jobs and it will save our budget more than $400 million. Virginians elected us all to put politics aside and do what is right – expanding Medicaid should be at the top of the list this session.”

The push from McAuliffe also has the support of a key healthcare lobby, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.

“Virginia’s hospitals and health systems strongly support accessing available federal funding to improve access to quality, affordable health care coverage throughout the Commonwealth. We believe taking this action is an essential step in addressing the current challenges Virginia faces regarding population health, the opioid epidemic, and behavioral health treatment needs. We urge elected leaders in both parties to come together and agree on a way forward to take advantage of available federal health care funding by recovering Virginia’s tax dollars to benefit the people of the Commonwealth,” VHHA spokesman Julian Walker said.

Books from AFP

2018-19 UVA Basketball Preview: Just $1.99 on Amazon!

UVA Basketball finished the 2017-18 season ranked at the top of the national polls. Augusta Free Press editor Chris Graham offers his insight and analysis on the 2018-19 'Hoos, breaking down the roster, the legacy of coach Tony Bennett, and how the loss to UMBC could fuel a run through March Madness next spring.

The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever: Just $3.49 on Amazon!

Chris Graham offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the pro wrestling business in his new book, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, the inside story of the 2011 Night of Legends, a live pay-per-view event featuring stars including WWE Hall of Famers Kevin Nash, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Rock 'n Roll Express that was met with almost universally negative reviews.

Mad About U: History of University Hall available on Amazon for just $5.99!

Mad About U: Four Decades of at University Hall is a comprehensive book covering the players, coaches and memories of University Hall at the University of Virginia. Join us as we look back at the memories from more than 40 years in U Hall.


News From Around the Web


Shop Google



Comment