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VA Lawmakers Support "States Achieve Medicaid Expansion" Legislation

In Washington, Virginia’s two senators are joining forces along with half a dozen other senators to help encourage states to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  The law is aimed at extending a deadline that’s already passed. 

In the original form of the Affordable Care Act, states had until 2014 to expand Medicaid health insurance for those who live in poverty or with disabilities. That wasn’t intended to be a punitive deadline because every state was supposed to expand Medicaid - until the Supreme Court stepped in and gave the states and ability to opt out.

Virginia, along with 18 other states, decided against participating. That means they’ve missed the deadline for receiving three years of 100 percent reimbursement. 

“We shouldn’t have to pay the price of the legislature’s reluctance," says Democratic Senator Mark Warner. He’s joining with Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and a half dozen other senators to extend the deadline for expanding Medicaid.  “I hope this will get rid of one other excuse that the legislature has in terms of not taking advantage of what is both a good business decision but what it also the right moral choice."

Under the legislation introduced this week, states would get three years of full reimbursement whenever they sign up, although Virginia’s Republican-led General Assembly is showing no signs of changing its mind anytime soon.