Gridlock over: Lawmakers approve Medicaid expansion

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It voted instead for essentially the same budget it adopted during the regular 60-day legislative session without expanding health care coverage to more than 300,000 uninsured Virginians. Republicans in Virginia's General Assembly have resisted Medicaid expansion for years, despite the fact that 61 percent of residents supported it as early as September 2014.

One of Northam's major campaign goals was to expand Medicaid for Virginia - a goal his predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, had but could not achieve with Republican majorities in the General Assembly.

If delegates again vote in favor of the bill, which had amendments added by the Senate, it would head to Governor Ralph Northam's desk. "Health insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder that I have fought for year after year and have been crushed when it failed, is in this budget". Dave LaRock, R-Hamilton, said about expanding Medicaid in Virginia. He reportedly tried to dissuade Senate Republicans from voting for Medicaid expansion, claiming federal lawmakers are trying to repeal Obamacare.

Expansion is expected to make health care available to 350,000 to 450,000 low-income Virginians.

Correction: A prior version of this story misstated the party that controls the Virginia House of Delegates.

But Virginia GOP Speaker Kirk Cox said the Trump administration's openness to conservative reforms, including work requirements, "was probably the biggest key" in getting Republican support for Medicaid expansion this year. Expansion supporters waited in the hallway outside, their signs reminded individual senators of the percentages of voters in their districts who favor expansion.

"We will have a budget today", he said.

The moment was an irresistible opportunity for Corey Stewart, the Prince William County supervisor running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, to descend on the Capitol and denounce the "weak" Republicans who voted with Democrats to expand Medicaid.

Norment, Jr., R-James City, right, walks past a sign held by Dr. Monica Morris, MD, the Medical Director of the Solari Radiation Therapy Center at VCU Community Hospital in South Hill, Va., as he enters a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 29, 2018.

"The verbal abuse I took yesterday. was unbelievable". "Lying down in front of my office. with made-up tombstones, asking people to blow their horns when they go past my law office", he said, The Washington Post reports.

"This is what happens when you elect Republicans who don't have a backbone, who don't stand up for anything", Stewart said.

Sen. Steve Newman, R-Bedford, had attempted to amend the bill to require approval of a federal waiver by President Donald Trump's administration before Virginia could expand Medicaid.

"This is not just about helping this group of people", Wagner said. "It's not just a fiscal burden, but it's not the best solution for people who want real, quality health care". It is the number one issue on our voters' minds.

State Senator Emmett Hanger (R - Augusta) helped push through a budget that included Medicaid expansion after the House of Delegates previously passed a similar budget bill.

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