Virginia Republicans have proposed a new plan to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — while touting that they’ve rejected the law’s expansion of the health care program.
The Washington Post reported that the state senate’s finance committee has released a proposal to use Medicaid expansion dollars to help people purchase private insurance on HealthCare.gov, the same alternative model already being used in Arkansas.
That model needed the Obama administration’s approval and used federal Medicaid funding authorized through Obamacare. But when introducing their plan, Republican legislative leadership claimed victory over the president’s signature legislative accomplishment.
“Medicaid expansion is based upon too many uncertainties under the ACA to go down that road,” Sen. Walter A. Stosch, co-chairman of the Finance Committee, said. “Thus, we reject Medicaid expansion in favor of a Virginia solution — private insurance that we refer to as Marketplace Virginia.”
The plan would tap $2 billion in federal funding and cover up to 400,000 Virginians.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has made expanding Medicaid a priority since taking office in January and he voiced support for the Senate proposal in a statement.
“I commend the Senate of Virginia for including in their budget a market-based path toward accepting this funding,” he said. “That proposal will serve as a foundation for productive discussions about how best to cover more working families, create more jobs and save the state as much as $1 billion in the next eight years.”
The proposal, already approved by committee, would still need to clear the Senate and the House, which did not include any funding for Medicaid expansion in its own budget.