For weeks, Governor McAuliffe and General Assembly Democrats have done everything they can to avoid saying the phrase “Medicaid Expansion.” We’ve heard about the “coverage gap” and we’ve heard about the “private option,” but the truth is we’re talking about Medicaid Expansion.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in 2012, it gave states the option to expand Medicaid. The Supreme Court did not rule on the “coverage gap” or the “private option”.
Since then, the Obama Administration has been very clear that premium assistance concepts are still Medicaid expansion. In March of 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a memo that said in reference to premium assistance plans: “Under all these arrangements, beneficiaries remain Medicaid beneficiaries and continue to be entitled to all benefits and cost-sharing protections.”
In other words, no matter what you call it, it’s Medicaid expansion. And if it isn’t Medicaid expansion, haven’t Governor McAuliffe and General Assembly Democrats admitted we were right all along?