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Virginia House Leaders Urge Senate To Scrap Medicaid Expansion From Budget

In Virginia, GOP leaders in the House of Delegates are calling on the Senate to take Medicaid expansion out of its budget so it can pass. They're also calling for a special session to consider the issue.

The House GOP says the Senate is holding the budget hostage to force passage of its plan, which would expand Medicaid. House Majority Leader Kirk Cox said without that, the House and Senate versions are just $26 million apart.

He said localities, school boards, and others must craft their own budgets and need state budget passage this week. Cox added that the House plan to limit college tuition-hikes to single digits is in jeopardy since college boards will set tuition rates soon.

"If we wait until July 1, they've already had to set tuition. I can guarantee you, it's not going to be at three percent, it's not going to be at four percent. It's going to be double-digits again, and our college students will suffer," he says.

House Democratic Leader David Toscano, who supports expanding Medicaid, said since federal dollars come with the expansion, it should be in the budget. Still, he inquired about what would happen in a special session.

"We're going to just say no again? If you can assure us that a special session will be to work out the details of Medicaid expansion great! Well, let's do that! But we don't have any assurances about that," he says.

Both sides said they want to avoid a government shutdown, which could occur if the budget is not passed by June 30.

NPR

In Iran, A Poet's 700-Year-Old Verses Still Set Hearts Aflame

The 14th century Persian poet Hafez remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of wine, romance and other topics not necessarily welcome in today's Islamic Republic.
NPR

Buy Crop Insurance, Double Your Money

The nation's crop insurance program is really a lottery, says one economist. And it's rigged so that farmers win. In fact, farmers typically get back double the money they pay for premiums.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - February 12, 2016

D.C. Council Member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood to chat about her upcoming fight for re-election.

NPR

Do You Like Me? Swiping Leads To Spike In Online Dating For Young Adults

A study by the Pew Research Center finds the use of online dating sites has mushroomed in the past few years, particularly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

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