Health Law Playing Key Role In Virginia Politics

News outlets examine how the overhaul is factoring into the state's Senate race and changing the political landscape.  

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Warner-Gillespie Debate Offers Look At The Politics Of Health Care
When Sen. Mark R. Warner faces his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in their first debate today at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, the two are likely to clash over the Democrat’s support for the Affordable Care Act, which Gillespie wants to see repealed. But seven months after entering the race, seven weeks after his nomination as the GOP candidate and three months before the November election, Gillespie, who has repeatedly attacked his opponent for “casting the deciding vote” for the health care law, has yet to roll out his own ideas for policies that would replace the measure. “I do believe there are reforms that would be helpful,” the former GOP strategist and chairman of the Republican National Committee said in an interview last month. “(But) I haven’t finalized or settled on these in terms of the policy moving forward” (Schmidt, 7/25).

The New York Times: In Politics, The ‘Virginia Way’ No Longer Reflects Its Genial Southern Roots
The polarization of Richmond mirrors Washington, part of a nationalization of politics in state capitals with divided government across the country. The Legislative session that recently ended featured teeth-spitting acrimony between Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, and Republicans in the General Assembly, which nearly led to a government shutdown. … The issue that nearly ground government to a halt was expanding Medicaid under President Obama’s health care law. Mr. McAuliffe, the most liberal Virginia governor of modern times, favored it. The Republican-led Legislature, influenced by its Tea Party wing, strongly opposed it, even though many of the working poor who would have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act were from rural districts represented by Republicans (Gabriel, 7/27).

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