State Senate approves Medicaid expansion with Vogel's support

02 June, 2018, 03:39 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • FAIRFAX VA- NOVEMBER 07 Gov.-elect Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax greet supporters at an election night rally

Ralph Northam, a pediatrician and Army doctor by trade, planning to sign the measure into law, Virginians and advocates for Medicaid expansion welcomed the development but emphasized the dangers of the caveat, which, as research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has shown, "will nearly certainly cause many low-income adults to lose health coverage". The bill passed 22-18, with the support of three Republicans.

Virginia Democrats have pushed for years to expand Medicaid, saying their state should not pass up the roughly $2 billion in extra federal funding the program would bring to the state.

Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville, who represents the 27th District, which includes the Winchester area, has been a longtime opponent of Medicaid expansion and voted for a budget that did not include it Tuesday. A fight over Medicaid expansion led to a standoff over the state budget in 2014 and again this year.

Democrats came within one seat of drawing even in the state's House of Delegates in last fall's election.

The House, however, is expected to pass the Senate's budget - and Medicaid expansion-without much trouble.

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Even though, as Governing notes, "the Trump administration made expansion more enticing for some Republicans by letting states add new eligibility rules, such as work requirements and time limits", the remaining 14 states aren't now considering any expansion of their Medicaid programs, according to KFF. "Passing this budget today was the fiscally and morally responsible thing to do, and I proudly voted in favor of it".

ME did so past year through a voter referendum, though that state's Republican governor has done everything he can to keep that referendum from being implemented. "Thank you", Northam tweeted following the House vote. About 400,000 low-income adults would be newly eligible.

"This is raising the cost of health care and will do nothing to help the people of Virginia", said GOP Sen.

"Anything that increases the robust network of supports out there is helpful for the long-term planning of our children", said Marc Jaccard, executive director of the Henry & William Evans Home for children in Winchester.

Expanding Medicaid may ease the financial burden on some families and "expedite when they get the kids back", Jaccard said. Grafton has locations in the Winchester area. "This is doubly true for the population Grafton serves: those with both psychiatric and intellectual challenges".


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