Virginia Republicans again reject Medicaid expansion
Republican lawmakers in Virginia rejected another bid to expand Medicaid, saying the cost of providing new health coverage to thousands of poor adults would cripple the state.
The House of Delegates voted against Medicaid expansion last week as lawmakers reconvened for a one-day session to consider Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s amendments and vetoes.
While many of McAuliffe’s proposed amendments were rejected, Republicans were unable to overturn any of the governor’s vetoes.
After attempts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act failed last month, McAuliffe renewed his long-standing push for Medicaid expansion and proposed a budget amendment that would give him the power to do so. The governor said Republicans had run out of reasons to block Medicaid expansion.
Thirty-one states have expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA, including some with Republican governors. But Virginia Republicans have held firm against expansion. They said the state’s current Medicaid program is already growing at an unsustainable rate and expanding it would be fiscally irresponsible, even with the federal government covering most of the expansion costs.