Virginia Republicans have taken over the General Assembly and passed a state budget that does not include Medicaid expansion. But the battle over the budget is about to get even more intense.
One provision in the new Republican budget makes it more difficult for Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe to expand health insurance coverage for 400,000 Virginians who live in poverty or with disabilities. The new language requires legislative approval for Medicaid expansion to move forward, essentially allowing Republicans to stop it.
University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth says McAuliffe will probably use his line-item veto to remove that provision: “The governor has made it pretty clear over the last six months that this was non-negotiable. This would be a significant adjustment in his key priority if he were to walk away from Medicaid expansion.”