Virginia Governor Planning Medicaid Expansion
June 6, 2014
While Virginia's state House is firmly opposed to expanding the state's Medicaid program, Governor Terry McAuliffe is moving forward with a plan to enroll 400,000 additional Virginians into the government health care program.
McAuliffe has been researching whether he can expand the Medicaid program on his own, through executive order, if the state legislature refuses to approve the expansion. But moving forward unilaterally would be a bold move, as Virginia's General Assembly is the only body granted authority under the state constitution to appropriate money, including the $2 billion in federal funds that would fund the Medicaid program.
The governor's office has been mulling over the best way to handle the massive influx of new enrollees, and the state is reportedly considering setting up call centers. Already, the state has suffered a backlog of 42,000 Medicaid applications this year.
Recently, the Washington Post uncovered highly technical state documents detailing computer system upgrades related to the Medicaid expansion. But the administration's officials say that they are merely making preparations with the hope that the General Assembly approves expansion of the program.
Source: Laura Vozzella, "With no legislative approval, McAuliffe has begun planning for Medicaid expansion," Washington Post, June 4, 2014.
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