Home Health GOP-Controlled Virginia House Votes Overwhelmingly FOR Medicaid Expansion; Senate GOP Votes Unanimously...

GOP-Controlled Virginia House Votes Overwhelmingly FOR Medicaid Expansion; Senate GOP Votes Unanimously “Nay”

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So much for the Virginia House of Delegates being the hyper-partisan, far-right chamber while the Virginia State Senate is supposedly the body of more “moderation.” At this point, it seems like the roles have been reversed, if anything. By the way, so much for Sen. Emmett Hanger (R) voting for Medicaid expansion (at least for now – he certainly could vote for it down the road, after conference committee hashes out differences, etc.). In the end, it seems to me that this is going to come down to Senate-House conference and some serious, intense, behind-the-scenes negotiations on work requirements for Medicaid recipients, who pays for the 10% Virginia is on the hook for, etc.  Then, we’ll see if any Senate Republicans are willing to defy Corey Stewart and the far right of their party DO what’s right for their constituents and for our state — expand Medicaid now!

  • From the VA House Democratic Caucus:

    House Passes Budget That Expands Health Care Access
    Democrats Fight For a Budget Voters Voted For

    RICHMOND, Va. – House Democrats today voted in favor of a budget that largely reflected the values that Virginians voted for in November, including extending access to affordable health care to nearly 400,000 Virginians through Medicaid expansion.

    “The number one issue on voters’ minds last year was health care, and as one of my colleagues noted today, ‘elections have consequences,’” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “House Democrats have been fighting since the days of Governor McDonnell to include expansion of health care access to thousands of Virginians who do not presently have it. This historic moment would not have been possible without the sweeping Democratic wins in November.”

    The budget also includes major investments in education at all levels, new initiatives for job creation and economic opportunity, and enhanced funding for mental health and the social safety net. The House budget also includes pay raises for teachers and other state employees.

    “Though not perfect, this is the best House budget I have seen in my 12 years here,” said Leader Toscano. “This is a budget that voters voted for.”

    “When Virginians went to vote last year, they were voting for good jobs and good schools,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “Medicaid expansion will not only allow us to get people the health care they need, it will allow us to give raises to our teachers and correctional officers. We commend our colleagues across the aisle for their willingness to listen to the will of the voters and work with us on Medicaid expansion this year. This is not just a moral issue; it’s also an economic one.”

    During the budget debate, House Democrats also fought to include provisions that would protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination, ensure access to higher education for DREAMers, and defend reproductive health and freedom.

    Most of these efforts were defeated.

    “We will keep fighting for the priorities of Virginia voters, and we will continue to support the message that they sent on November 7th for a stronger and more inclusive Virginia,” said Leader Toscano.

    Delegate Marcus Simon’s amendment to protect LGBTQ Virginians from employment discrimination at state agencies was defeated by Republicans. House Republicans had previously killed several bills, including legislation passed by the Senate, that would have barred discrimination against the LGBTQ community in housing and the workplace.

    Delegate Alfonso Lopez’s budget amendment to secure in-state tuition for DREAMers also was defeated by Republicans. This proposal was also series of bills that were never given a hearing by Republican House leadership.

    Delegate Jennifer Boysko objected to an amendment that would bar state funding for abortions for Medicaid recipients in cases for fetal anomalies, and Delegate Vivian Watts spoke in opposition to an amendment by Delegate Dave LaRock that removed all funding from from a pilot program that provided low-income women with family planning resources – including Long Acting Reversible Contraception, or LARC.

    Delegate LaRock’s amendment died when the House instead voted to accept an amendment that funded the program.

  • From ProgressVA:

    Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition Statement on House Vote to Expand Medicaid

    Richmond, Virginia—On Thursday afternoon, the Virginia House of Delegates passed its budget for the next two years, which included funding to expand Medicaid. The Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition applauds members of the House of Delegates for taking this step forward to ensure that Virginians can get the health care they need when they need it.

    Though this is an important step in the right direction, the Women’s Equality Coalition is concerned about the proposed work requirements tied to expansion. Work requirements for Medicaid kick people while they are struggling to get back up again. Taking away health insurance from people who are sick won’t help them find work any faster.

    “We’re glad that the House of Delegates has taken this important first step towards ensuring that all Virginians can see a doctor when they need to without worrying about how to pay for it,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia and Women’s Equality Coalition member said. “However, we continue to have reservations about language in the House budget that could put financial restrictions on families’ access to care, premise access to care on the ability to find a good-paying job, or lock our friends and neighbors out of access. It’s disappointing that the Senate didn’t follow the lead of their House colleagues in moving forward a discussion on Medicaid expansion, but we will continue to pressure legislators in both chambers to ensure all Virginians have access to quality health care.”

    “Medicaid Expansion just makes sense. Expanding Medicaid would ensure that 400,000 hardworking Virginians can get the medical treatment they need without worrying about devastating financial consequences down the road, while lowering costs for all Virginians,” David Broder, President of SEIU Virginia 512 and Women’s Equality Coalition member said. “We urge members of the House and Senate to stand up for hardworking families and ensure that funding for Medicaid expansion stays in the budget as the budget process continues.”

    “Voters who went to the polls last November said healthcare was the most important issue to them, so it is good to see that members of the House of Delegates are paying attention. Expanding Medicaid would be a huge step forward for Virginia families, but we will wait to see what the details are before celebrating too much,” Julie Emery, Executive Director of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and Women’s Equality Coalition member said. “We need a budget that cleanly passes Medicaid expansion so that our families can get the health care they need and live longer, healthier, more productive lives.”

    The Senate’s version of the budget did not include funding for Medicaid expansion, requiring over $400 million in cuts to the proposed budget. Among the drastic cuts proposed by the Senate Finance committee are massive reductions to proposed funding for higher education and financial aid, eliminating pay raises for state teachers, and reducing funding for local schools and school breakfasts.

    As of 2016, 60% of non-elderly adults without disabilities on Medicaid were already working and nearly 80% lived in families where at least one person was working, making the work requirements an unnecessary burden on people who need health insurance. Work requirements could also cause people who would otherwise qualify for benefits to lose their health care coverage due to bureaucratic red tape and onerous paperwork procedures. Work requirements don’t create jobs or raise wages, they just make it harder for people to access the health care they need.

  • ameri…canwork

    Yes but the Republicans in the House voted against hb1106.
    Yes 5 Republicans support payroll, tax and workers compensation insurance fraud.
    Republican Delegate Terry Kilgore,
    Please resign for do you have any knowledge of JLARC427?
    Why does the Delegate support wage suppression illegal employers?
    Tax evaders?
    Deadbeat Dads? ( Yes they circumnavigate the Department of Child Enforcement Services by using the 1099)
    Delegate Kilgore please resign.