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Virginia GOP Pushes For Audit Of Medicaid Program Before Voting On Expansion

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Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates leaders are announcing that they will not vote on whether to expand Medicaid until after a comprehensive outside audit of the state's program is conducted.

The delegates say the state's Medicaid agency has conducted only internal audits, so they propose a financial and operational audit by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, which will also recommend reforms.

While the federal government pledges to pay all of the costs of expanding Medicaid for three years as part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Del. Jimmie Massie said that as a businessman, he did a credit analysis that casts doubt on that guarantee — using federal spending, revenues, maturing debt, and borrowing.

"The federal government has to borrow about $85 to $100 million an hour just to pay for its operating deficit and another $350 million an hour to refinance itself. That adds up to a little bit less than $450million an hour!", he said.

But Virginia Organizing's Ben Greenberg said that while the federal government does need to get its fiscal house in order, new figures from Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration figures show big savings if there were no delays in expansion.

"We will save the state $1 billion while we address the needs of up to 400,000 Virginians who have no healthcare coverage," he said.

The GOP will propose extra funds to pay for the audit.

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