Home Medicaid Video: Virginia State Senate Voting Now on Historic Medicaid Expansion

Video: Virginia State Senate Voting Now on Historic Medicaid Expansion [UPDATED: All Over But the Speechifying]


See below for key moments in today’s Virginia State Senate debate on expanding Medicaid in Virginia, ongoing right now.

First, here’s the Senate voting 22-18 (all Democrats, plus Republicans Hanger, Wagner and Chafin) to adopt Sen. Emmett Hanger’s floor amendment, which is the Medicaid expansion vehicle we are rooting for.

Next, see the vote (also 22-18 – all Dems, plus Republicans Hanger, Wagner and Chafin) to reject Majority Leader Tommy Norment’s set of anti-Medicaid-expansion amendments.

Debating work requirements…Senate: Amendment #1 by Senator Newman rejected, Chair Votes No (20-Y 20-N)

What on earth is Tommy Norment doing here? Accusing Frank Wagner of corruption?

  • Beyer Statement On Virginia Senate Votes To Expand Medicaid

    May 30, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer today issued the following statement on the Virginia Senate’s passage of budget measures which would expand Medicaid in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

    “Today the Virginia Senate took a historic and long-overdue step towards giving hundreds of thousands of Virginians access to affordable health care.

    While I strongly oppose the work requirement portions of this legislation, which will prevent Virginians from getting coverage, the full effect of these bills will bring health insurance and financial security to so many Virginia families who lack them. I applaud this bipartisan move forward, which was delayed for far too long, and hope that the House will pass Medicaid expansion with all possible haste.

    Virginia stands today as a contrast to Republican leaders in Washington who have spent over a year driving up healthcare costs and trying to deprive millions of Americans of their coverage. President Trump and his allies in Congress should abandon their sabotage, follow Virginia’s lead, and prioritize giving people access to affordable health care.”

    The measures to expand Medicaid in Virginia passed narrowly in the Senate, with several Republicans and all Democrats voting in favor. The legislation will return to the House for final passage, following which it will go to Governor Ralph Northam for signature.

    Medicaid expansion will expand health coverage under the Affordable Care Act to include an estimated 400,000 low income Virginians who currently lack health insurance, thousands of whom live in Northern Virginia. A measure to expand Medicaid was proposed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014 and repeatedly thereafter, but was never adopted by the General Assembly.

  • Video: Sen. Janet Howell doesn’t call out Tommy Norment by name, but stresses that this is NOT about who feels disrespected or whatever. Nice job, we know who you’re talking about. 🙂


    • Hecate_Demetersdatter

      Go, Janet.

  • Video: Epic whinefest by Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (Loser)


    • Hecate_Demetersdatter


    • Laura Lee

      How about giving them insurance and letting them keep it

    • Hecate_Demetersdatter

      People blew their horns! Imagine. It’s their fault Trump got elected. /Snark.

  • Video: Sen. Saslaw Says We Need to Put This to Bed Already


  • Video: Sen. Ben Chafin (R) Urges Virginia Medicaid Expansion


  • Video: Lengthy speeches on Virginia Medicaid Expansion



    ~ On Virginia Medicaid expansion ~

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a former Governor and a current member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after the Virginia Senate voted to expand the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

    “I’m thrilled that the Virginia Senate has decided partisan politics should no longer stand in the way of thousands of Virginia families getting the healthcare they need. I look forward to the House of Delegates soon doing the same.

    “Governor Northam and supporters of Medicaid expansion should be proud of this bipartisan achievement, but the real winners here are the hardworking Virginians who will finally have healthcare for their families.”

  • From Rep. Donald McEachin:

    Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement in celebration of the Virginia Senate’s vote to expand Medicaid:

    “I am thrilled that my former colleagues in the Virginia Senate finally passed Medicaid expansion. Thousands of uninsured and underinsured Virginians are now one step closer to accessing high-quality, affordable healthcare, which should be a right for every American. With this landmark vote, more individuals and their families will be able to proactively visit their doctor before their medical issues worsen and become increasingly expensive, keeping people out of the emergency room and reducing healthcare costs across the board.

    “I want to also thank Governor Northam and the thousands of Virginias who called, wrote, rallied and never gave up.

    “Today is truly a momentous day. In the face of all the negative healthcare policies pushed by the Trump Administration, and the grave amounts of uncertainty inserted into the marketplace, Virginia has pushed back with a bipartisan vote to expand Medicaid. I am elated.”

  • From Abigail Spanberger for Congress (VA-07):

    Statement on the Passage of Medicaid Expansion from VA-07 Candidate Abigail Spanberger

    GLEN ALLEN, VA — Today, Congressional Candidate in the 7th District Abigail Spanberger released the below statement following the General Assembly’s vote to expand Medicaid.

    “Today, the Virginia General Assembly took the long-overdue step of expanding Medicaid and providing life-saving healthcare to nearly 400,000 Virginians, including tens of thousands in the 7th District. ​This historic vote signals a sea change in how we do business here in the Commonwealth, and I am heartened to know that we will no longer be satisfied by half measures that deny our fellow Virginians the basic right to quality healthcare. I would like to thank the many activists, advocacy organizations, and forward-thinking elected officials who made it their mission to save lives, reduce costs and put people above politics.”

  • Video: Virginia State Senate FINALLY – at long last – passes Medicaid expansion!


  • Esther Ferington

    And thank goodness for Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, as some of the anti-Medicaid amendments came in at 20-20 and he had to cast the deciding vote to kill them.

    Have we mentioned lately? Elections matter.

  • State Senator Wexton Statement on Medicaid Expansion Vote

    RICHMOND – Today, State Senator Jennifer Wexton released a statement after voting for a budget which includes Medicaid Expansion. That vote will expand access to an estimated 300,000 Virginia who fall in the coverage gap, including 5,800 residents of her Senate District and 9,800 residents of Virginia’s 10th District.

    “I’ve been fighting for Medicaid expansion since the first day I joined the State Senate,” said Senator Wexton. “Not only will we provide lifesaving coverage to more than 300,000 Virginians, including almost 10,000 residents in the 10th Congressional District who desperately need it, we will return millions of taxpayer dollars back to Virginia’s economy.”

    “By voting for things like the GOP Tax Scam and the repeal of Obamacare, Barbara Comstock and the Republican Congress have been systematically trying to strip healthcare away from millions of Americans. I’m proud that here in Virginia we have done our part to expand access to healthcare to 300,000 of our residents.”

  • From Virginia Organizing:

    Richmond, Va. — Today Virginia’s Senate voted to expand Medicaid. Virginia Organizing leaders and supporters celebrated the decision as a great victory for the people of the Commonwealth.

    “Virginia Organizing members have worked to bring affordable health care to all Virginians for more than 10 years,” said Virginia Organizing Chairperson Del McWhorter.

    “Medicaid expansion will make health care available to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who have been stuck in the coverage gap,” McWhorter continued, “many of them suffering from treatable illnesses. We’re thankful to our supporters and partners for the years of hard work they have contributed. All the letter writing, the rallies, the forums, the thousands of calls to legislators…they finally led to victory for us today.”

    “However,” McWhorter added, “our work is not done. Work requirements that have been added to the measure may keep people with disabilities and serious illnesses from getting access to health care. It doesn’t make sense to add an unnecessary new layer of bureaucracy to health care funding. We still want affordable health care for everyone, and we don’t intend to give up until we get it.”

  • Governor Northam Statement on Virginia Senate’s Budget Passage

    RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued the following statement on the Virginia Senate’s passage of a budget that includes Medicaid expansion.

    “Today a bipartisan group of leaders in the Virginia Senate voted to make history and make people’s lives better. The budget the Senate passed today expands health care to Virginians, invests in core economic priorities and strengthens the cash reserves we need for a rainy day. By passing this budget, the Senate made a clear statement that Virginia is a place where leaders still work together to get things done for the people who send us here.

    “We have been having this conversation for some time in Virginia – now we are on the verge of delivering. I look forward to seeing this budget pass the House of Delegates so that my team and I can review and act upon it as quickly as possible.”

  • Sen. Tim Kaine: “I’m thrilled that today, Virginia has finally moved to expand Medicaid, which will help hundreds of thousands of people get the care they need. While no compromise is perfect, it is a true bipartisan effort that will make our communities healthier, and I’m grateful to the legislators and Governor Northam who are working tirelessly to get it over the finish line.”

  • From the VA House Dems:

    Statement on Medicaid Expansion Passing the Virginia General Assembly

    Democratic Leader David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville) and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) issue the following statement regarding the Virginia General Assembly sending a budget to Governor Northam that includes Medicaid expansion:

    “This is a great day for the Commonwealth, especially those nearly 400,000 Virginians who will now have access to affordable healthcare. This bipartisan budget was made possible by the result at the ballot box in November 2017, sending Governor Northam to a landslide victory and flipping 15 seats in the House of Delegates from Republican to Democratic.

    The House Democratic Caucus has worked for nearly 6 years, alongside our Senate Democratic colleagues, Governor Northam and Governor McAuliffe, to make this day possible. While we’re glad it has come, it’s a shame that Republican leadership still voted against a budget that not only expanded medicaid but increased funding for education, mental health, and public safety.”

  • Governor Northam Statement on Biennial Budget that Expands Health Care and Invests in a Stronger Economy

    RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued the following statement on the General Assembly’s passage of a budget that includes Medicaid expansion, which will increase healthcare access for up to 400,000 Virginians:

    “Today the General Assembly sent a budget to my desk that will improve the lives of all Virginians. It will expand health care for up to 400,000 people who need it. It will invest in schools, workforce training, public safety, and an economy that works better for every Virginian, no matter who they are or where they live.

    “This budget is the culmination of five years of effort to bring our taxpayer dollars home from Washington and expand Medicaid. As a doctor, I’m so proud of the significant step we’ve taken together to help Virginians get quality, affordable care.

    “This budget doesn’t just expand healthcare access to those who need it most, it also invests in core economic priorities like education and workforce training and significantly increases the cash reserves that insulate our state finances from economic disruption.

    “This is the best reflection of what we can accomplish when we do things the Virginia Way, and I want to thank the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for their good faith efforts to come to this historic agreement.

    “The loudest voices in this long-standing conversation on Medicaid expansion have been those of Virginians. We have heard you. Thank you. I also want to acknowledge Governor Terry McAuliffe for his unrelenting effort to expand healthcare access while he was in office, and every member of the General Assembly who stood up today and did the right thing for their constituents. This is a victory for all Virginians.

    “Going forward, my team and I will review this budget when it reaches my desk to ensure that there are no technical issues or unintended problems that may warrant an amendment and act upon it as quickly as possible.”


    RICHMOND, VA – DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement upon the Virginia General Assembly passing a budget that expands Medicaid in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    “Hard work on behalf of a good cause pays off.

    Thanks to the leadership and commitment of Governors Ralph Northam and Terry McAuliffe, the advocacy of Democratic elected officials and grassroots activists, and a historic Democratic victory in the 2017 election, Medicaid will be expanded in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These hardworking public servants and activists have now guaranteed that essential health care will be provided to hundreds of thousands of Virginians currently caught in the Medicaid coverage gap .

    The roots of this victory can be traced back to the 2017 election of Governor Northam and 16 new Democrats to the legislature. This infusion has moved politics in Virginia to a place where the health and well being of our citizens is more important than partisan posturing.

    Elections have consequences and we never gave up. We never stopped fighting for the Virginians who needed us most. Governor Northam put people over politics, kept a steady hand, and working with our Democratic elected officials and activists, delivered today in a big way for Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens.

    The expansion of Medicaid is a victory for ALL Virginians. Today our Commonwealth is safer, it is stronger, and it is healthier.”

  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Statement on State Budget Vote

    State budget expands Medicaid, increases access to contraception

    Richmond, VA –– Paulette McElwain, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Board Chair, released the following statement after the Virginia General Assembly approved a state budget that expands Medicaid and increases access to long-acting reversible contraception.

    “Planned Parenthood supporters have been marching, rallying, calling, and voting for Medicaid Expansion for years now. We are grateful that at long last, Governor Northam’s leadership has resulted in the Virginia General Assembly’s approval of a budget that will extend health insurance coverage to up to 400,000 Virginians who need it.

    “The role that healthcare advocates played in this fight is undeniable. I am so grateful for the supporters and leadership of organizations like Healthcare for All Virginians, New Virginia Majority, SEIU Virginia 512, the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and Progress Virginia. Our years-long coordinated organizing efforts in communities across Virginia and our thought partnership with both Governor McAuliffe and Governor Northam’s administrations made today’s vote possible.

    “In addition to Medicaid Expansion, the state budget includes a pilot program that will increase access to long-acting reversible contraception for Virginia women. This new program is another win for reproductive healthcare access that resulted from a multi-year fight and coordinated efforts between Planned Parenthood, Governor McAuliffe, Governor Northam, General Assembly leaders and other advocacy organizations.

    “I am so proud of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia’s work on these important issues. Sustained, coordinated advocacy for progressive policies delivers real results for Virginians and our families.”

  • Union Health Care Workers Applaud General Assembly Passage of Medicaid Expansion, Increased Access to Health Care for Hard-Working Virginia Families

    The frontline health care workers of SEIU Virginia 512, including home care providers, nurses and social workers, applauded the passage of Medicaid Expansion today by the Virginia General Assembly. Under Medicaid Expansion, up to 400,000 hard-working Virginians will qualify for health care coverage.

    “Today is an historic day for working families across the Commonwealth. 400,000 Virginians will now have the opportunity to lead healthier lives, and health care costs will come down for all of us,” said SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder. “No longer will working people have to choose between going to the doctor and paying rent or putting food on the table. No longer will working people be forced to go bankrupt because they get sick.”

    “I love what I do because it allows me to give back to the community that has given me so much,” said Patti Nelson, a mental health nurses from Loudoun County, VA. “However, years of budgets cuts and population growth have left us over-worked and under-resourced, struggling to meet the needs of our growing, diverse population. Today’s action on Medicaid Expansion will give us the resources to help people suffering from mental illness and opioid addiction.”

    “Today’s vote on Medicaid Expansion is a life-saver,” said Thomasine Wilson, a home care provider from Richmond, VA. “In 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was lucky enough to have had a job then that offered healthcare. That healthcare saved my life. I’ve been cancer-free for over 4 years now. But I’m scared about the cancer coming back and not having healthcare. As a hard-working home care provider, I have fallen into the coverage gap. Passing Medicaid Expansion means that I can get the healthcare I need to live a long life.”

    “I work in county government, helping older adults lead healthier, more successful lives,” said Tammie Wondong Ware, a Fairfax County government social worker. “State and local budget cuts have left us with fewer resources to provide services to more people, making it harder to do my job. Medicaid Expansion will me serve local families better, while bringing our own tax dollars – my tax dollars – back to our communities.”

    “As a home care provider, I don’t have any paid sick days and I don’t have health care. I have job-related back pain because lifting people is difficult work, but I can’t see a doctor because I don’t have insurance,” said Rosa Nixon, a home care provider from Orange, VA. “I went to the doctor a few years ago. I left with a $7,000 bill, which I’m still paying off. With Medicaid Expansion, I can finally go to the doctor. I can get the eye glasses I need. I can get the breast exams I’ve been skipping. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”

    SEIU Virginia 512 members have been proud to partner with local families, advocates, people of faith and elected officials for years, through multiple election and legislative cycles, to advocate for the passage of Medicaid Expansion and an improved health care system for all Virginians.


    SEIU Virginia 512 members are home care providers across the commonwealth, and county employees in Fairfax and Loudoun. United by a belief in the dignity of work, SEIU Virginia 512 members advocate for policies and budgets which improve the lives of working people and which build an economy that works for all Virginians.

  • old_redneck

    Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (Snowflake) slammed the vote, saying that it “abandons Virginia’s long-standing reputation for fiscal responsibility.”

    In a floor speech, he also lamented the tone of the debate.

    “In the years I have been in the Senate, I have never been treated more disrespectfully by some of these advocacy groups,” he said. “Lying down in front of my office . . . with made-up tombstones, asking people to blow their horns when they go past my law office. . . . The verbal abuse I took yesterday, just walking from the Pocahantas Building, was unbelievable.”

    Verbal abuse? Did this clown complain about “verbal abuse” directed at him? How about:
    — Lock her up!!!
    — Hillary for prison 2016!!!
    — Obama was not born in the US!!!
    — Comparing Michelle Obama to an ape!!
    — “Libtard!!”
    — “Our goal is to make Obama a one-term President!!”
    — “You lie!!”

    You were saying??

  • From ProgressVA:

    In a Victory for Hundreds of Thousands, Virginia’s Senate Votes to Expand Medicaid and Pass Budget
    400,000 Working or Disabled Virginians Are Now Eligible for Insurance, Access to Life-Saving Care Through Medicaid Expansion

    Richmond, VA — Immediately after the Virginia Senate voted to expand Medicaid and pass an annual budget, executive director of Progress Virginia Anna Scholl released the following statement:

    “Medicaid expansion is a good deal for Virginians and for the Commonwealth. It was a good deal six years ago when we started this fight and it is a good deal today. We appreciate the hard work of our lawmakers who finally came around, but the real credit for this victory belongs to the thousands of our friends, loved ones and neighbors who desperately need affordable health care and have fought valiantly for over half a decade to ensure the commonwealth of Virginia provides access to life-saving programs like Medicaid. We know the 400,000 people who are now eligible for coverage and can access to care will be healthier and have more financial security than they do today because of the legislators who voted for this budget.

    While the deal is not without policy provisions that may ultimately make the program out of reach for some families struggling to get by, Progress Virginia and our members recognize that compromise is an important step in achieving our ultimate goal of universal coverage for everyone living in the Commonwealth. Elected officials at all levels of government should take notice that Virginians want more health care — not less — and join us in our fight for affordable, quality health care for all. At a time when too many families are just one emergency away from financial ruin, it’s the right thing to do for our neighbors and communities.”

  • Video: Applause as Virginia House of Delegates approves Medicaid expansion