Va. Senate could be set to end Medicaid, budget standoff

WASHINGTON — Virginia could move much closer to resolving its months-long budget standoff on Tuesday.

The commonwealth’s Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to meet in the early afternoon, and the full Senate is scheduled to meet later to take up a budget that is expected to include Medicaid expansion.

The expansion to cover more than 300,000 low-income Virginians is permitted under the Affordable Care Act, with a promise from the federal government to pay at least 90 percent of the costs.

For years, Republicans in Virginia’s General Assembly resisted the expansion as part of “Obamacare,” citing cost concerns.

This winter, after only narrowly maintaining in November what had been a large majority, Republican leaders in the House of Delegates joined Democrats to support expansion.

All 19 Senate Democrats are expected to be joined by two to four Senate Republicans to support a budget with Medicaid expansion and related budget boosts.

Depending on exactly what the Senate passes late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the House of Delegates could either give final passage Wednesday afternoon or take the procedural steps required to set up a conference committee to work out any details.

Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Emmett Hanger and fellow Republican House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones have reached a budget deal that they unveiled last week.

Republicans in the Senate who continue to oppose Medicaid expansion prevented any action in the Senate last week.

The House passed a budget as part of this special session more than a month ago.

The two sides could not reach an agreement on the budget during the regular session that ended March 10.

Without a signed budget deal, the state government would shut down July 1.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up