Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Vote today in Va. will make state 33rd to expand Medicaid; at least two referenda already set in other states for Nov. 6

"Virginia is on the verge of expanding Medicaid after years of partisan battle," Alan Suderman reports for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. "The GOP-controlled General Assembly is set to pass a state budget Wednesday that's expected to expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income adults."

The House has already passed legislation expanding Medicaid to people in households with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, "and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is a strong proponent," Suderman reports. "Wednesday's upcoming vote will mark the end of a more than four-year battle over expanding the publicly funded health care program for the poor in Virginia. The fight led to a standoff over the state budget in 2014 and again this year."

Virginia will become the 33rd state to expand Medicaid under terms of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A petition has been certified in Utah for a referendum on the issue there, and a petition in Idaho is nearing certification. UPDATE, June 4: Montana will have a referendum Nov. 6 on extending its Medicaid expansion, which if not extended will expire in 2019, reports Sara Kliff of Vox.

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