Skip to comments.VA Obamacare/Medicaid expansion is the BIG battle this year
Posted on 02/23/2014 9:57:57 AM PST by Gopher Broke
From Victoria Cobb at Family Foundation:
On Thursday, the House of Delegates and state Senate passed their respective budgets. As anticipated, one of the most glaring differences between the two budgets is their approaches on the expansion of ObamaCare in Virginia.
The Senate included expanding ObamaCare in its budget despite agreement last year between the two chambers that the issue would be kept separate from the budget so it wouldn't become a stumbling block to passing a budget. Three Senate Republicans, John Watkins, Walter Stosch, and Emmett Hanger joined 20 Democrats in passing the budget.
Last year, the General Assembly agreed to the formation of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC), which has the authority to make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning expansion. The commission did not make a recommendation after a year's work but sought instead to continue its efforts for another year. The Senate and Governor are in disagreement with that arrangement, and desire to expand ObamaCare immediately.
To make its position abundantly clear, House Republicans created a budget amendment modeled after the Senate expansion plan, and promptly defeated it 67-32. House Republicans have maintained that it would be irresponsible to expand ObamaCare because future costs would be so great that it could cripple the state budget. And, they argue, the program is wrought with inefficiency and fraud.
Most insiders in Richmond believe that the battle over ObamaCare expansion will leave the state without a budget well into spring, if not longer. A new budget must be adopted by June 30 or state government could theoretically "shut down" July 1. Governor McAuliffe has stated that he intends to shut down state government in order to get his way on expansion. Yesterday it was reported that McAuliffe was threatening to veto legislator's bills if they didn't go along with expansion - something his office quickly denied.
Next week, each chamber will reject the other's budget, forcing it into conference (a normal action in budget creation). If conferees can't come up with a solution before March 8, the General Assembly could adjourn without a budget - a scenario that is growing more likely by the hour. Also, should a budget not pass, or a budget pass without the continuation of the MIRC, some believe that the Governor can unilaterally expand ObamaCare. That action could result in litigation - leaving it up to the Attorney General to choose sides on the issue.
Be prepared to watch this battle go on well into the spring, and beyond.
Three Republicans voted with the Democrats FOR Obamacare expansion in the Senate. Walter Stosch, John Watkins and Emmett Hanger. Their emails are below:
And we know exactly what side he will choose.
In the vote in the House of Delegates (HB30), one Republican sold us out and voted with the Dems for Obamacare expansion, Tom Rust
His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, 2 Democrats voted with Republicans AGAINST Obamacare expansion, Delegates Ransome and Joannou. Please THANK them, their emails are:
Thank you for posting this!