Coming into 2014, Virginia was one of the more promising states for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion to take hold. A newly elected Democratic governor had made it a central issue of his campaign. Some GOP lawmakers had shown a willingness to play ball. Public polls showed even Republicans supported expanding the program to cover more than 250,000 low-income residents.
The momentum seemed to build earlier this week when Senate Republicans released and approved a privatized form of Medicaid expansion, using Medicaid dollars to pay for private insurance, as Arkansas had done to make one of the key provisions in Obamacare more palatable to conservatives.
But all those developments seem to have been for naught: Hard-line conservatives in the House refused to budge. They made the extra effort Thursday to pull the Medicaid expansion out of their broader budget bill and voted it down, 67 to 32, almost entirely along party lines, according to the Washington Post.
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