Health Care

Virginia lawmakers approve Medicaid expansion

Virginia lawmakers approve Medicaid expansion”

The State Senate voted 23-17 Wednesday night for a new two-year state budget that includes Medicaid expansion. Several state Republicans dropped their opposition this year, saying Virginia would be better off with increased federal funding for the program.

The GOP-controlled General Assembly's support for Medicaid comes despite Trump administration rejections. His predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, D, argued in favor of Medicaid expansion for four years but did not enjoy the same respect and trust from Richmond Republicans.

In Virginia, which has some of the strictest eligibility requirements in the country, a family of three that makes more than $6,900 a year is no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage under current law. He reportedly tried to dissuade Senate Republicans from voting for Medicaid expansion, claiming federal lawmakers are trying to repeal Obamacare.

The expansion of the government health insurance program was strongly opposed by the Trump administration, which has sought to repeal Obamacare outright.

This story has been corrected the misspelling of House Speaker Kirk Cox's first name.

"I'm thrilled that the Virginia Senate has decided partisan politics should no longer stand in the way of thousands of Virginia families getting the healthcare they need", said Sen.

But Republicans took notice when Democrats campaigned heavily on expanding Medicaid past year and made unexpectedly large gains, reshaping the state legislature in an anti-Trump wave. "Passing this budget today was the fiscally and morally responsible thing to do, and I proudly voted in favor of it".

Capitol Police stayed on hand to keep the peace, at one point separating the two factions when they got into a shouting match, a rarity in the marble corridors where a Capitol staffer regularly scolds anyone who speaks above a whisper.

Virginia Republican Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment Jr.

In a floor speech, he also noted the tone of the debate, calling the "verbal abuse" he took from groups backing the measure.

After years of resistance and a ruling by the U.S. "Lying down in front of my office. with made up tombstones, asking people to blow their horns when they go past my law office". "I think this is a major disaster for our party and for the commonwealth of Virginia". Ben Chafin (38th) and Emmett Hanger (24th).

When Republicans in Congress tried and failed to repeal the health care law previous year, Hanger said they had proposed a block-grant approach that would have hurt Virginia and other states that had refused to expand their Medicaid programs.

Health care advocacy groups praised the move and said low income Virginians who can not afford health care coverage will finally receive access to care without jeopardizing their financial future. "By golly, it ought to be the number one issue on the General Assembly's mind".

Chafin, the Republican from Russell, defended his decision to support Medicaid expansion and the core public services he said enhanced federal funding would enable the state to afford. The funds coming to Virginia would not add to the national debt because of the tax funding included in the Affordable Care Act to support the program.



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