Virginia Lawmakers Pass Budget Without Medicaid Expansion

The two-year spending plan, which will prevent a state government shutdown, includes an amendment designed to prevent Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe from pursuing efforts to expand the low-income health insurance program without legislative approval. The debate over the expansion had been at the crux of the budget impasse.  

The Associated Press: Virginia Passes Budget With Medicaid Restriction
The General Assembly passed a new state budget late Thursday night after adopting a Republican-backed amendment to ensure that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe cannot expand Medicaid without legislative approval. The action just before midnight closed a tumultuous day of internal GOP wrangling over the last-minute amendment and ended a protracted budget impasse that had threatened to shut down state government when the current spending plan expires June 30 (6/13).

The Washington Post: After Hours Of Strife, Lawmakers Pass Budget Without Medicaid Expansion
The Virginia General Assembly adopted a long-delayed state budget late Thursday, acting after an hours-long debate among newly ascendant Senate Republicans who fought among themselves over whether the plan threw up sufficient barriers to Medicaid expansion. The Republicans, who gained control of the Senate Monday when a Democrat resigned from what had been an evenly split chamber, approved a spending deal hashed out by a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators. But they first amended it in a way intended to make it harder to expand the federal-state healthcare program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act — Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top legislative priority (Vozzella, 6/13).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Lawmakers Pass Budget That Thwarts Medicaid Expansion
Senate Republicans on Thursday night used their new majority to pass a two-year budget that eliminates any opportunity for Gov. Terry McAuliffe or a year-old legislative commission to expand Medicaid or a private insurance alternative. They were backed by House Republicans who said they would not approve the budget -- even though Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans had removed an insurance marketplace -- unless it included language to prevent any expansion without the approval of the full General Assembly. The Senate passed the budget on a 21-18 vote. Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. of Accomack County was the only Democrat who backed the spending plan (Martz and Nolan, 6/12).

The Washington Post: Advocates For Poor Hope To Revive Debate Over Expanding Medicaid In Virginia
Advocates for the poor are pushing to revive the debate over expanding Medicaid coverage in Virginia even as lawmakers in Richmond passed a budget Thursday that strips out the additional health-care coverage. In rallies and candlelight vigils across the state, the advocates are highlighting the stories of some of the 400,000 low-income patients in Virginia who they say would be newly eligible for the government-funded program (Olivo, 6/12).

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