Virginia Lawmakers Pass Budget, Restriction On Medicaid Expansion | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Lawmakers Pass Budget, Restriction On Medicaid Expansion

Play associated audio

The Virginia General Assembly has passed a state budget after adopting an amendment saying Gov. Terry McAuliffe cannot expand Medicaid without legislative approval. McAuliffe must now decide whether to veto the budget, or to propose further amendments to authorize Medicaid expansion.

Virginia Republicans were able to pass the budget after gaining control of the Senate on Monday when Democratic Sen. Phil Puckett announced his resignation earlier this week.

If McAuliffe decides to use executive authority to expand Medicaid, he could potentially sour his relationship with Republicans and jeopardize the rest of his time as governor. If he moves forward without expanding health insurance for 400,000 uninsured Virginians, it would violate a campaign promise. Or he could opt to go over the fiscal cliff and shut the government down.

"Sometimes you have to do what is in the best interest of the state as a whole, and right now what's in the best interest of the state as a whole is the passage of a budget," said state Sen. John Watkins, one of the moderate Republicans supporting a private plan to expand Medicaid known as Marketplace Virginia. Along with the other moderate Republicans, he voted with the majority of lawmakers to fund the budget for now and hope for a special session later.

Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw pointed out that many senators enjoy health insurance while their constituents don't.

"You talk about hypocrisy, you're poster children for it," Saslaw said.

In a written statement after the vote, McAuliffe said: "Virginians deserve better than representatives who put narrow ideology ahead of what is best for our families, economy and budget."

NPR

In This Test Kitchen, The Secret To A Great Cookbook Is Try, Try Again

Yotam Ottolenghi and his partner have a thriving food empire that includes wildly successful cookbooks. We go inside their London test kitchen as recipes are put through their paces.
NPR

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."
NPR

Fact Check: 3 Questions Answered About Bill Clinton's LLC

Does Bill Clinton have a secret corporation that he is using to hide money? Is it intended to pay a lower tax rate? Or is it something else entirely?
NPR

Questions Remain About How To Use Data From License Plate Scanners

The scanners are standard equipment for police, but what's not settled is what happens to all the data collected. That data can link people to certain addresses and flag unusual activity.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.