Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 8, 2014

Va. Senate passes budget with expanded Medicaid


Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Senate has approved its version of a roughly $96 billion two-year budget that includes accepting additional federal funds to provide health insurance to as many as 400,000 low-income residents.

The Senate voted Tuesday to approve a budget that contains “Marketplace Virginia,” which would use federal Medicaid funds to provide private insurance to low-income residents. The majority of Virginia’s current Medicaid population is currently enrolled in private plans, but supporters of the Senate plan insist Marketplace Virginia is not an expansion of Medicaid.

The issue of whether to include expanded Medicaid eligibility in the state budget has deadlocked the Democratically controlled Senate and the GOP-controlled House.

Lawmakers are currently in a special session devoted to finding a compromise. But there’s been little sign of movement on both sides.