Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, is considering expanding Medicaid whether the state’s GOP likes it or not. Medicaid’s expansion does have bi-partisan support there, however, Virginia’s Republican-controlled legislature has refused to expand it time and again. According to Think Progress, McAuliffe said that expanding Medicaid will help at least 400,000 of Virginia’s poorest residents.
McAuliffe also said he’s exploring other options, and that using his powers as the state’s governor is merely one of them. A spokesperson for McAuliffe said that he’s looking to help the state’s poorest get healthcare coverage any way he legally can, and that they’ll have more details in the coming months.
Virginia’s battle over expanding Medicaid has been difficult, and with a Democratic senator stepping down (for reasons that many are speculating about, including an illegal bribe), the state’s legislature is now totally in the hands of Republicans. They drafted a budget that explicitly prohibited expanding Medicaid, and one of the options that McAuliffe is considering is using a line-item veto to get rid of that provision.
That is a very tired trick for politicians, both at the state and federal levels. They want to enact something, or prohibit something, that they can’t pass in a standalone bill, so they’ll stick it in a different bill. Republicans in Congress have been making broad use of that ability.
In this case, sticking it in the budget makes some sense because the Medicaid expansion gets federal funds. So it could be worse; they could have stuck it in a totally unrelated bill. However, with line-item veto, McAuliffe can just get rid of that part of a bill.
When it comes to helping the little people with anything, the GOP has shown time and again over the last three years that they care more about making their agenda succeed than they do about people. And they sell it so well that people vote against their own interests when they vote these people into office. Several Republican governors accepted the Medicaid expansion because they felt it was silly not to. It’s federal funding; full funding for three years, and then it drops to 90 percent after that. The states have three years to determine how to pay for their share of the expansion.
But other Republicans complain about the deficit, and about how this is just another example of our ever-growing government. Considering the Supreme Court ruled that states retain control over their Medicaid programs, the tired “big government” refrain is just stupid. As far as the deficit, perhaps if the Republicans in Congress, who keep saying that they’ll cut spending but refuse to actually decide what to cut, actually worked across the aisle to make those tough decisions, maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about states’ Medicaid expansions increasing the deficit.
More from AATTP on Terry McAuliffe.
- McAuliffe Defeats Tea Party Extremist Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia Governor’s Seat
- Will Ken Cuccinelli ‘Blow it’ in Today’s VA Governor’s Race? ‘Anti-Sodomy’ TEApublican is Trailing McAuliffe!