Day 51 of Gov. McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse

HouseGOP2014 General Assembly Session, Budget, Health Care, Issues

Today is day 51 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.

Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats are recklessly driving the Commonwealth to the brink, refusing to pass the state budget if the General Assembly does not pass Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Recent polling shows that Virginians are decidedly opposed to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and, more importantly, an overwhelming majority want to see a compromise to avoid a state government shutdown.

In an editorial this weekend, The News Virginian says that compromise is to pass a clean budget and debate Medicaid expansion later:

It’s time for this game of chicken to end. After nearly five months of argument and debate, Virginia voters are tired of the fighting in the General Assembly about Medicaid expansion. When asked, 71 percent of those surveyed in a new Christopher Newport poll released on Thursday said that lawmakers should compromise on Medicaid.

We would suggest that the easiest compromise is simply separating the Medicaid expansion vote from the budget. That way, the Senate isn’t giving up on Medicaid and the House can get the standalone budget vote they’ve been wanting. That would just be a first step.

The second would be to agree to another special session, to be held in the fall, dedicated just to Medicaid expansion. By then, the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission will have data on the reforms that have already been implemented, to see what’s working and what’s not. If those reforms have started successfully addressing some of the current issues in the Medicaid program and if lawmakers can show how the expansion would be funded long term, then it’s possible the Senate and Gov. McAuliffe might find more support for the idea.