Virginia Lawmakers To Consider Fast-Track Budget Plan Without Medicaid Expansion

The $96 billion spending plan unveiled by state House leaders yesterday could break the logjam and prevent a looming state government shutdown after a partisan battle over Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to expand the low-income health insurance program was resolved earlier this week with the resignation of a Democratic senator.

The Washington Post: Va. Leaders May Vote On Stripped-Down Budget
House budget leaders on Wednesday unveiled a two-year, $96 billion spending plan that their Senate counterparts indicated they would be willing to accept and fast-track to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). But at least a few Republicans are expressing concern that the long-stalled budget process is suddenly moving too quickly. They fear that there could be language buried deep in the budget bill that would authorize the governor to expand Medicaid, McAuliffe’s top legislative priority (Vozzella, 6/11).

The Associated Press: Virginia Lawmakers Return To Vote On Budget
The budget stalemate was caused by a disagreement between Democrats, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who wanted to expand Medicaid and Republicans who refused. The logjam broke when Democratic Sen. Phil Puckett resigned, giving Republicans a one-seat advantage in the Senate (6/12).

Meanwhile, Kansas hospital officials cite benefits for uninsured vets as part of arguments for the expansion --

Kansas Health Institute: Medicaid Expansion Would Help Thousands Of Uninsured Kansas Vets
The chief executive of the Kansas Hospital Association is using a recent report about uninsured veterans to make the case for Medicaid expansion. In an opinion piece sent to newspapers on Wednesday, Tom Bell said approximately 15,000 Kansas veterans and 10,000 of their family members lack health insurance, according to the report written by the Urban Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In Missouri, approximately 30,000 non-elderly veterans and 22,000 of their family members are uninsured (McLean, 6/11).

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