Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Virginia lawmakers at impasse on Medicaid expansion

Virginia lawmakers have budget to finalize as session draws to a close Budget talks need bipartisan spirit
Faye Gross | 12 March, 2018, 06:34

That bill would likely be very similar to the budget submitted to the current session by Gov. Terry McAuliffe before he left office, since new Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed that budget. Most of the state's 60,000 regular Medicaid recipients would have been exempted due to their health or age. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, as a limited alternative to full expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but without money in the Senate budget to pay for it.

Last-minute legislative maneuvering is under way to resolve the budget impasse, and we hope it involves compromise and not pushing through a hard-line position.

A proposal to continue expanded Medcaid in New Hampshire beyond its expiration date at the end of 2018 cleared its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday, as the Joint Senate Finance Committee voted 10-1 in favor of SB 313, "reforming New Hampshire's Medicaid and Premium Assistance Program".

Norment said that while Senators in recent years had grown used to working in a body divided 21-19 Republican to Democrat, as well as 20-20 and 19-20, the House GOP hadn't got over the shock of losing 15 seats to Democrats, to hang on to just a 51-49 majority.

"I think it's always helpful when you go back home and hear from constituents", Jones told reporters.

While many bills have passed or been killed in the last two months, there are still dozens being considered in both chambers.

China says trade war with U.S. will bring disaster
Citing Chinese researchers, Zhong said the USA has been overstating its trade deficit with China by about 20 percent every year. Trade tensions between China and United States have risen since Trump took office.


But the biggest thing to check off the to-do list is finalizing Virginia's two-year budget.

Norment said that if he were out of step on an issue with most of his caucus and with its leadership, he'd have no choice but to resign as Majority Leader.

The budget chairman had sent the legislation to the House floor without a Senate amendment to link enactment to funding in the budget.

Jones said Thursday that he will instead allow Dunnavant's bill to die without action in the House, which must complete action on all bills by midnight under the procedural resolution for the assembly session that began January 10.

Now, the long wait begins for a budget, both for changes in the spending plan for the fiscal year that ends on June 30 and the spending plan for the biennium that begins on July 1.

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