Vir­ginia Repub­li­cans again re­ject Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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.

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