After Years of Trying, Virginia Finally Will Expand Medicaid
WASHINGTON — Virginia’s Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to open Medicaid to an additional 400,000 low-income adults next year, making it all but certain that the state will join 32 others that have already expanded the public health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.
Republican lawmakers in the state had blocked Medicaid expansion for four straight years, but a number of them dropped their opposition after their party almost lost the House of Delegates in elections last fall and voters named health care as a top issue.
The vote, on a budget bill that included the Medicaid expansion, came almost three months after the House approved a similar plan. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat also elected last fall, has been a vocal proponent of the expansion and can now claim a victory that his predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, desperately wanted but never got.
The House passed the Senate bill within hours; it will now go to Mr. Northam’s desk. The measure includes a requirement that many adult recipients who don’t have a disability either work or volunteer as a condition of receiving Medicaid — a provision that was crucial to getting enough Republicans on board. [...]health care finance health care reform health law policy medicaremedicaid public health regulation