McAuliffe takes narrower path after Medicaid expansion blocked
Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s Democratic governor, has given up on his attempt to expand Medicaid on his own without the support of the GOP-led General Assembly.
Instead, he is introducing program improvements for those currently enrolled through an executive order and a series of emergency regulations.
He also plans an aggressive outreach campaign to reach those already eligible for Medicaid who have not enrolled while spreading the word about premium subsidies available to others through the federal exchange. Other initiatives the governor plans to launch in the coming months include integrating primary and specialty care for as many as 20,000 uninsured residents with serious mental illness via a CMS waiver. He also plans to allow the children of low-income state employees to join the Virginia Family Access to Medical Insurance Security, the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, and extend dental benefits to all pregnant women in Medicaid and FAMIS.
McAuliffe put up a tough fight to expand Medicaid for an additional 400,000 Virginia adults making between 100% and 138% of federal poverty level, at one point even holding up the state’s budget in hopes that GOP lawmakers would cave in. When that failed, he contemplated extending the program through an executive order. But after talks with the state’s attorney general, McAuliffe realized such executive action would not be possible.
“Trust me, if I could do this on my own, I would do it,” McAuliffe said last week during a news conference.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe