Gridlock over: Va. lawmakers approve Medicaid expansion

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Virginia is poised to expand Medicaid after a hard-fought legislative battle, making it one of a growing number of states where there is interest in expanding the program after Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act past year.

Expanding Medicaid was a key provision of then-President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, and a tally from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows Virginia will become the 33rd state to approve Medicaid expansion.

The state's portion of the cost to expand Medicaid will be paid for by a new "providers' assessment" - essentially a tax on hospitals - which were generally supported by the state's hospital executives because Medicaid expansion is expected to result in a net boost to their bottom lines.

In a odd turn of events, former Pennsylvania Sen.

Later, he said the Senate rules forbid a legislative proposal to be raised a third time after being defeated twice on the floor, unless the entire body agrees.

Reading another column about the failure of the Virginia General Assembly to expand Medicaid may be as painful for you to read as it is for me to write.

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But opposition in the House crumbled after Democrats almost won control of the chamber in November, amid a blue wave widely viewed as a rebuke to President Donald Trump.

The budget bill included a work requirement for able bodied adults that will receive Medicaid coverage in Virginia.

"This bipartisan compromise fulfills the voter's wishes to expand access to healthcare for over 300,000 hard-working Virginians while allowing us to invest in other priorities like public education".

The debate has been going on for years in Virginia. For those who were part of the opposition to the expansion for many years there may be a problem pivoting to supporting it even if there are thousands of constituents who would benefit in better health care from it.

Republican holdouts in the Senate saw the carnage previous year when Democrats flipped 15 House seats, but they were insulated since they were not on the ballot.

In Virginia, which has some of the strictest eligibility requirements in the country, a family of three that makes more than $6,900 a year is no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage under current law. Rick Santorum, the Republican from Pennsylvania, who left office in 2007 and has been out of politics since his unsuccesful run for the presidency in 2012. He warned senators that Obamacare could be killed by Congress.

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"There's always talk of repealing Obamacare; that did not happen", Cox said.

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.

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

Virginia Republican Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment Jr.

"In the years I have been in the Senate, I have never been treated more disrespectfully by some of these advocacy groups", he said in a lengthy floor speech.

"The verbal abuse I took yesterday. was unbelievable". The Senate rejected that version of the budget on a vote of 22-18, as Hanger, Wagner and Chafin joined the 19 Democrats. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Fauquier, to vote for expansion.

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