Today is day 26 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.
Governor McAuliffe and his allies sharply pivoted last week away from the Senate’s “alternative” Medicaid expansion plan and decided to go with, as Minority Leader David Toscano put it, “plain and simple” Medicaid expansion, albeit under the guise of a two year pilot program.
The two plans are a distinction without a difference, but the flip flop drew immediate criticism nonetheless. The Richmond Times-Dispatch called it a “deceptively pitched concept” and the Chamber of Commerce sharply repudiated the plan.
Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw immediately put the so-called alternative plan back on the table. Senator Saslaw then doubled-down on his threat to shutdown state government saying, “we won’t vote for a budget — I can’t be emphatic enough — nor will the governor sign a budget that doesn’t have some form of expansion.”
Virginia Democrats cannot make up their mind about their own proposal. They have wasted three weeks unnecessarily rewriting the state budget plan and arguing amongst themselves over Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Their indecision is harming our local governments, school boards and the business community, as well as threatening Virginia’s AAA bond rating.
Governor McAuliffe and the Democrat-controlled Senate should stop playing games with the state budget. Our teachers, firefighters, police officers and local governments are not bargaining chips. They should drop their demands for Obamacare and let Virginia pass a clean budget.