Today is day 76 of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Obamacare budget impasse.
Despite the fact that objective public polling shows Virginians oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, Governor McAuliffe and his Democrat-controlled Senate refuse to act on a budget that does not include expansion.
The Governor’s demand for Medicaid expansion has delayed passage of the budget for 76 days. That’s holding up funding for schools, law enforcement and hospitals, creating uncertainty for local governments, damaging Virginia’s reputation as a well-managed state and threatening the Commonwealth’s prestigious AAA bond rating.
Now, Governor McAuliffe and Senate Democrats appear to be prepared to take Virginia over the June 30 fiscal cliff, possibly forcing the first government shutdown in state history.
House leaders have offered a fair and simple compromise to end the impasse: set Medicaid expansion aside and pass a budget now. It is a compromise supported by business leaders, local governments and citizens all across the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce says lawmakers should “set aside” Medicaid expansion and pass a budget to protect Virginia’s business community and AAA bond rating.
Over 100 local governments, school boards and elected leaders from across the Commonwealth passed resolutions or sent letters to the Governor, calling on him to separate Medicaid expansion from the budget.
Democrat Senator Chuck Colgan said last week that the General Assembly should deal with the budget first and debate Medicaid expansion later.
It’s time to end the stalemate. Virginians know it is wrong to delay the entire state budget over one single disagreement. The solution is clear — set aside Medicaid expansion and pass the budget now.