ibusinesslines.com August 17, 2018

Virginia lawmakers set to expand Medicaid

03 June 2018, 04:27 | Melissa Porter

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on March 21 in Richmond with Aubrey Lane the state’s secretary of finance

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on March 21 in Richmond with Aubrey Lane the state’s secretary of finance

Teresa Gardner Tyson, executive director of the Health Wagon in far Southwest Virginia, said Medicaid expansion will help improve her community's overall health and help her clinic focus more on providing care rather than chasing grant money.

"I came to the conclusion that "no" just wasn't an answer anymore", he said. White, 50, lost private insurance when severe arthritis forced him to give up work in the Newport News shipyards in 2008.

Democrats came within one seat of drawing even in the state's House of Delegates in last fall's election. Two Republicans broke ranks to pass an amendment that's part of a larger budget bill still working its way through the body. Lawmakers failed to pass a state budget then because of the issue. In addition to providing health care to thousands of low-income residents, some beneficiaries will likely have to jump through extra hoops to stay covered. By resisting Medicaid expansion, Virginia has given up approximately $142 million in federal funding every month. Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs under the law, which ensures the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost, compared with 50 percent under Virginia's current Medicaid program.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a state budget that would expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income adults. Like an increasing number of states being encouraged to move in this direction by the Trump administration, Virginia's Medicaid expansion will include some work and cost-sharing requirements for beneficiaries. In particular, we offer our gratitude to House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Chris Jones, Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger, Governor Ralph Northam, Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, Senator Frank Wagner, Senator Ben Chafin, Senator Jill Vogel, House Minority Leader David Toscano, and the dozens of other individual Senators and Delegates from both parties who supported the compromise budget. Childless adults aren't eligible, and dealing mother and father can't earn greater than 30 % of the federal poverty stage, or $5,727 a yr. They plan to hear from former U.S. Sen.

Some GOP senators objected to expansion because they anxious the Trump administration could renege on ObamaCare's funding agreement, leaving Virginia to cover the entirety of the expansion costs.

"We are picking up some momentum".

Santorum's appearance was organized by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative activist group funded by the Koch brothers.

Collins was blunt about the chances opponents had to stop the budget and attached Medicaid expansion.

Capitol Police had to separate the two factions when they got into a shouting match, a rarity in the marble corridors where a staffer regularly scolds anyone who speaks above a whisper.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment Jr., a Republican, said the legislature, in passing the measures, "abandons Virginia's long-standing reputation for fiscal responsibility".

In a floor speech, he also lamented the tone of the debate. "In all the years that I've been in the Senate, I have never been treated more disrespectfully by some of the advocate groups than issue in my entire career", Norment said. "Lying down in front of my office. with made-up tombstones, asking people to blow their horns when they go past my law office", he said, The Washington Post reports. The Senate rejected that version of the budget on a vote of 22-18, as Hanger, Wagner and Chafin joined the 19 Democrats.

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