Virginia budget standoff over Medicaid shows no sign of abating
Will the Virginia government shut down with the start of the fiscal year drawing near on July 1, as the federal government did? Both Republicans and Democrats are using that threat as they stick to their respective positions on Medicaid expansion. Governor Terry McAuliffe has made expansion of the health care program his signature issue. Republicans say that although the federal government is slated to pay the programês future costs, they believe the feds will back off that guarantee and Virginia will be stuck with the tab.
In a compromise of sorts, the state Senate passed a bill that expands Medicaid eligibility through Marketplace Virginia, which uses federal money to provide private insurance to low-income residents, reports the Associated Press. Participants must pay up to 5 percent of their income to buy insurance through the program.
The Republican-controlled House did not take up the Senate bill. Republicans insist that a budget should be passed separate from Medicaid expansion, which they said could be discussed later. Both chambers have left Richmond after the Special Session failed to produce a budget, with no plans to return to the state capital.Download Bulletin PDF