Tag Archives: Medicaid

Speaker Bill Howell pushes back at WaPost editorial on Medicaid expansion

Bill HowellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

On Sunday the Washington Post editorial board took aim at Virginia Republicans generally, and specifically at Speaker Bill Howell (see ‘Massive resistance,’ again, in Virginia). Speaker Howell responded to the broad-brushed accusations in a statement:

“This editorial is patently offensive to not only me, but also to the many honorable men and women serving in the House of Delegates and the millions of hard-working taxpayers who share our deep public policy concerns about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. To compare the legitimate and widely-acknowledged policy concerns we have with Medicaid expansion to the shameful and ignorant policy of massive resistance is not only outrageous, it is, frankly, indefensible.
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VPAP’s top news stories for 2014

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Virginia Public Access Project, more commonly known as VPAP, polled their subscribers and 475 participated (including me) with their responses about the top news stories for 2014 (see Top News Stories for 2014):

More than 475 VaNews subscribers participated in our annual top stories survey. Here is the result:

Story that will have most asting impact on Virginia:
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McAuliffe and Howell: Showdown in Richmond

Richmond capitolIt was a showdown Monday evening in Richmond between Governor Terry McAuliffe and House Speaker Bill Howell over Medicaid. From Michael Martz and the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, refused on Monday to allow the House to consider McAuliffe’s veto of budget restrictions on his ability to use federal funds for health coverage without the approval of the General Assembly.

Howell ruled the governor’s veto unconstitutional and out of order. That prevented a vote by either the House or Senate on whether to override the veto of budget amendments Republicans rammed through June 12 to prevent McAuliffe from unilaterally expanding health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“I cannot idly allow unconstitutional actions to be considered by this body,” the speaker said in a statement. “To do otherwise would be an unacceptable acquiescence of legislative branch authority.”

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McAuliffe, Medicaid, vetoes, and Bell

Terry McAuliffe 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

Governor Terry McAuliffe held a news conference Friday (see Terry McAuliffe: Statement on 2015-16 budget actions) to announce his intentions with the state budget and Medicaid. The Roanoke Times noted:

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Terry McAuliffe: Statement on 2015-16 budget actions

From Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office….

Good Morning.

Over the past six days, my finance team and I have carefully reviewed the Biennial Budget that was transmitted to my office last Sunday by the General Assembly.

This budget was completed almost three months late, after the Republican leadership of the House of Delegates stubbornly refused to take even the most modest steps toward closing the health care coverage gap.

Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth know that the lack of health care is hurting families, stunting economic growth, damaging hospitals and clinics, and causing too many of our citizens to suffer needlessly.

It is unconscionable that one of the wealthiest states in one of the wealthiest nations in the world does not provide health care to its needy citizens, particularly when we have already paid for it.

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Virginia: Emmett Hanger proposes compromise on Medicaid expansion

Emmett Hanger 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

On Thursday State Senator Emmett Hanger, concerned about the looming state budget deadline, proposed a compromise in the Medicaid expansion standoff currently taking place between the state Senate, House, and Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“It is my strong belief it would be totally unacceptable,” Hanger said in Thursday’s press release, “for the legislature to abdicate it’s responsibility to produce a balanced budget in a timely manner.”

House leaders expressed encouragement that a state budget may be reached by the deadline.

Hanger, chairman of the Medicaid Innovation & Reform Commission (MIRC) and chairman of the Senate Finance-Health & Human Resources Subcommittee, prefaced his proposals with a few comments:

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Bill Bolling in RTD: ‘Time to resolve the debate over Medicaid expansion’

???????????????????????????????By Lynn R. Mitchell

In a guest column printed in Saturday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling called for an end to the Medicaid expansion stand-off between the Governor and the General Assembly. Acknowledging that it’s a complicated issue that needs compromise from all sides, Bolling wrote:

First, the issues are very complex, and difficult for most people to fully understand. Read a primer on the intricacies of how coverage expansion would work and you’re likely to come away scratching your head.

Second, there are legitimate points that have been made by both sides in this debate. There is no right or wrong way to look at this issue. There are just differing ways, and both sides of the debate have offered reasonable arguments in support of their respective positions.

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Medicaid expansion … looking for solutions instead of just saying no

StethescopeBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It’s an interesting stand-off in Augusta County with the discussion (or lack of for some) about Medicaid expansion and what to do about those who fall through the cracks of coverage. If I listen to those to the political right of me, the solution is that we should do nothing, shut down, just say no.

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