Today is day 25 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.
At yesterday’s “public hearing” on Governor McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget proposal, there was a lot of talk about Medicaid expansion in some form or fashion.
There wasn’t, however, a lot of talk about the Governor’s proposed budget language that would allow him to raid school funds to pay for it.
There is a provision on page 516 of HB/SB 5003 that would allow the executive branch to take money from any agency or program, including public schools, to pay for Medicaid expansion:
The Director of the Department of Planning and Budget is hereby authorized to transfer appropriations among agencies and programs as needed so as to implement coverage for newly eligible individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1396d(y)(1) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats want authority to raid funds for schools, roads and public safety in order to pay for Obamacare in Virginia.
When asked about this provision on the floor of the House of Delegates last week, Democratic Minority Leader David Toscano gave a very long-winded “I don’t know.”
“That is a question that really has to be directed at the Department of Finance Director or the budget people to tell how that works,” said Toscano. “In terms of the way the Appropriations Committee works, in terms of how they write their budgets, I’m not on Appropriations, I don’t know how you write your budgets, but that’s all I can say about it because I don’t know.”
The Minority Leader might as well have taken a line from Nancy Pelosi and said “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”
Virginia Democrats are trying to sell Medicaid expansion like Washington sold Obamacare, by over promising and ignoring the details.
The General Assembly should pass a clean budget and then come back and debate Medicaid expansion in a separate special session.