KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Va. House Republicans Press For Special Session To Debate Expansion Proposal

The expansion is currently being tackled as part of the state's two-year budget blueprint, but the House GOP is urging that it be considered separately in order to avert a potential government shutdown.   

The Washington Post: Va. House Republicans Up Political Ante, Call For Special Session On Medicaid Expansion
House Republicans on Tuesday called for a special legislative session on Medicaid expansion, a surprise move meant to extricate the issue from the state budget, avert a potential government shutdown — and put Democrats on the defensive. With just days left in the regular session, the evenly split Senate and GOP-dominated House are deadlocked on whether to expand Medicaid under the federal health-care law known as Obamacare (Vozzella, 3/4).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: As Adjournment Nears, Medicaid Divide Persists
Four days before the legislature’s scheduled adjournment, House Republicans on Tuesday urged Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a Senate majority to pass a budget without any form of Medicaid expansion and debate the issue in a special session. At the same time, Senate negotiators faulted the House for refusing to discuss the issue as part of the conference to resolve differences over the two-year budget. Speaker of the House William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said at a news conference that school boards and others need information for their own budgeting process before the July 1 deadline to approve a new state funding plan (Meola, 3/4).

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: Va. Senators: Medicaid 'Integral' To Budget Talks
Virginia Senate budget negotiators say considering Medicaid expansion in deliberations on the proposed two-year state spending plan is appropriate, a forceful response to House of Delegates Republicans who see it as a separate issue. Senate budget negotiators staked out that position in a written statement Tuesday evening, hours after a House GOP leaders in a morning news conference again accused Democrats of causing gridlock over Medicaid. Those GOP officials said the General Assembly should allow the proposed $96 billion budget to pass in time for the legislature's scheduled March 8 adjournment, then convene a Medicaid special session. "We flatly reject this notion," the senators wrote in the two-page statement. "As we stated previously, the Marketplace Virginia proposal is integral to the Senate budget" (Walker, 3/4).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: McAuliffe Stumps For Medicaid Expansion In SW Va.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe went to the heart of coal country in one of the state’s poorest regions Tuesday to make the case that Virginia needs to expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income residents (3/4).

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