From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
With special session only days away, Virginians are still waiting for Speaker Howell and the rest of House Republican leadership to show that they're even willing to consider a plan to expand Medicaid and close the coverage gap. Republican leaders have yet to put forward legislation to ensure that 400,000 Virginians have access to the healthcare they deserve – but they have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars on political posturing.
Even as conservative Republican governors in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wyoming have embraced expansion, Virginia House Republicans are willing to squander taxpayer dollars while hundreds of thousands of their constituents go without care. Bringing back lawmakers to Richmond without taking action is an expensive political charade, and Virginians just aren’t buying it.
And as House Republicans stay silent on a plan, editorial boards across the state are calling on them to change their tune.
- “But don’t count on a serious debate now about expanding Medicaid and, with it, access to health care coverage for Virginia’s working poor. The single proposal offered thus far to draw down these federal funds has generated little chatter. Expansion foes should reconsider, though the hour is late and both houses are controlled by politicians who have mined a loathing for Obamacare like political gold.” [“Our View: Expand Medicaid,” Roanoke Times Editorial, 9/14]
- “The legislature will reconvene in special session this week. There is little indication that a majority in both the House of Delegates and Senate will reverse course, accept billions in federal tax revenue and use the money to cover health insurance for up to 400,000 low-income, uninsured Virginians. Worse, there is little indication that House Republican leaders are taking the session seriously, despite the costs incurred by taxpayers for lawmakers to gather in Richmond.” [“Where’s Plan for Coverage?”, Virginian-Pilot Editorial, 9/14]
- “The special legislative session on Medicaid begins … We firmly believe that Virginia can find a framework with broad appeal, but it will only happen through negotiation and compromise. Anything less from this special session strikes us as an exercise in futility.” [“Negotiate in Good Faith,” and we still cannot reliably predict what to expect from lawmakers when they convene. Our cynicism tells us this is appeasement disguised as serious workDaily Press Editorial, 9/13]
- “The majority of [General Assembly] members have chosen simply to refuse to make Medicaid expansion work for the Commonwealth. Other states have found a way, primarily because they’ve wanted to. Their legislators have seen wisdom in having their citizens benefit from a program that everyone’s tax dollars – including Virginians’ – supports. Virginia, meanwhile, is losing $5 million a day by not participating. And too many of her working poor are going without decent health care. The House of Delegates will meet Staunton News Leader Editorial, 9/13] in a special session to discuss Medicaid expansion, but as of this writing, the Speaker of the House hasn’t publicly released proposals or a schedule. The air is empty of anticipation, and our expectations are low.” [“Virginia’s Health Care Crisis Continues,”