Home Health Which GOP Virginia State Senators Might Be Potential “Flips” on Medicaid Expansion?

Which GOP Virginia State Senators Might Be Potential “Flips” on Medicaid Expansion?


UPDATE 2/18/18: I posted the following after the election in November 2017.  I’m reposting it now because the GOP-controlled Virginia State Senate apparently is NOT going to include Medicaid expansion in its budget, and we need to know which Republican Senators might – just might – be susceptible to pressure. The names I’ve been hearing are Glen Sturtevant (10th), Frank Wagner (7th), Siobhan Dunnavant (12th), all in districts Ralph Northam won, PLUS a couple in southwestern Virginia – Bill Carrico (40th), Ben Chafin (38th) – who might agree with Del. Terry Kilgore’s reasoning on this one, since they’re from the same area of the state that would benefit enormously from expanding health care coverage. Oh, and Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-24th), who apparently supports Medicaid expansion, giving Dems 20 votes in the State Senate and raising the question of whether the LG can break ties in the case of budget votes (see here and here for more on that complicated subject)…

P.S. Stay tuned today as the GOP-controlled House and Senate release their budget proposals, and as we potentially see ” a political showdown over the next three weeks with the Senate Finance Committee, which already has said it will not include full Medicaid expansion in the budget it will propose later on Sunday, leaving a gulf of almost $400 million between the two spending plans.” Oh, and so much for the State Senate being the more “moderate,” “reasonable,” “centrist,” etc. legislative chamber anymore.


Check out the following visual by VPAP, which shows the Virginia State Senate districts won by Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie last Tuesday. The results: 24 Northam-won districts to 16 Gillespie-won districts. Those Northam-won districts includes several currently held by Republicans, and several where Northam won huge (e.g., bye bye Frank Wagner, Dick Black and Glen Sturtevant; maybe time to “spend some more time with your family” or something? LOL): District 8 (Bill DeSteph) — Northam won 49.8%-49.0%; District 12 (Siobhan Dunnavant) — Northam won 51.5%-47.2%; District 7 (Frank Wagner) – Northam won 53.6%-45.1%, District 13 (Dick Black) — Northam won 55.2%-43.7%, and District 10 (Glen Sturtevant) — Northam won 57.7%-41.0%.

  • From the VA House Dems:

    After Years of Relentless Democratic Efforts, Medicaid Expansion on Horizon

    RICHMOND, Va. – House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring today issued the following statement on the inclusion of a provision to expand Medicaid to nearly 400,000 Virginians in the proposed House budget:

    “Since the days of Governor McDonnell, House Democrats have fought to expand access to affordable health care for hundreds of thousands of Virginians. With the House budget released today, we have reached a significant milestone in that journey, and the Democratic Caucus is proud that our unified advocacy and our working with our House Republican colleagues have led to its inclusion. In addition to getting hundreds of thousands of Virginians the health care they need, the influx of federal dollars will mean millions in savings that we can invest in education and our economy. 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.”

  • Video: Virginia Health and Human Resources Subcommittee Report on Expanding Health Care Cover

  • I agree with this 100%:

    Progress Virginia Statement on House Budget

    Progress Virginia today released the following statement from executive director Anna Scholl on the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee’s proposed budget:

    “Today’s budget proposal marks a significant step forward towards ensuring everyone in our community can see a doctor when they get sick, without worrying about devastating financial consequences. However, the devil is most certainly in the details and the details in the House Appropriations plan give us serious cause for concern. From the outset, we have opposed attempts to put punitive barriers between Virginians and access to care. We have serious reservations about language in the House budget that puts financial restrictions on families’ access to care, premises access to care on the ability to find a good-paying job, or locks our friends and neighbors out of access. We continue to firmly believe that a clean expansion is the best path forward for our Commonwealth.”

  • From the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA):

    “Today’s budget bill presentations by the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate represent a step forward in the ongoing effort to improve our health care delivery system, and to support its vital role in providing essential medical treatment to millions of Virginians. One particularly welcome development is the House budget’s inclusion of a plan to recover billions in Virginia taxpayer dollars and bring them back to the Commonwealth to help hundreds of thousands of low-income, hard-working, uninsured Virginians get health care coverage.”

    “Drawing down federal resources to improve health care access will enhance public health and Virginia’s economy. And while we applaud efforts by the House of Delegates, it is disappointing that proposed budget amendments would require hospitals to pay for the state’s share of coverage expansion, and would do so without providing a corresponding update to Medicaid rates for hospitals as required by state code.”

    “In the remainder of the 2018 legislative session, there is much work to do to find the most cost-effective, efficient, and fiscally responsible way to achieve the goal of increased coverage access. As state budget discussions occur in the days and weeks ahead, members of Virginia’s hospital community will continue to be engaged partners in the work to develop compromise policy solutions that benefit Virginia and its citizens.”

  • Progress Virginia Statement on Senate’s “Slash And Burn” Budget

    Progress Virginia this evening roundly condemned the Virginia state Senate’s proposed 2 year budget, which opts to radically cut funding for critical programs across the state rather than expand Medicaid and use the the savings to support core priorities like education and public safety. 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. The Senate GOP’s nonsensical refusal to consider Medicaid expansion required over $400M in cuts to the proposed biennial budget.

    “Senate Republicans aren’t just turning their backs on the 400,000 Virginians lacking access to health care, they’re spitting in the eye of families across the commonwealth,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Their slash and burn budget punishes our families with drastic cuts to education and public safety rather than use the savings from expanding health care access to ensure we all have the opportunity to succeed. Virginia voters sent a clear message last November that these petty, partisan, political games are no longer welcome in our Commonwealth. If Senate Republicans won’t listen now, we will ensure they get the message at the ballot box.”


    RICHMOND — This afternoon, Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) issued the following joint statement regarding the Senate budget:

    “A lot of time and effort has gone into developing the Senate and House budgets that were rolled out this afternoon. We are encouraged that our colleagues in the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — have recognized that the time has come to extend the opportunity of health coverage to over 300,000 Virginians. We need to rise to the occasion on the Senate side and join our colleagues in the House. As it stands, we have serious concerns over the Senate version. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to conform the budgets to transform Medicaid as we know it in the days and weeks ahead, as we strive to build stronger and safer communities across our great Commonwealth.”