RICHMOND, Va. — Plans to expand Medicaid in Virginia may not be dead on arrival at the General Assembly, but they’re struggling for life support.
“It’s such a big new entitlement at a time when we need to be looking hard at the cost of entitlements,” House Speaker William Howell told Watchdog.org in an interview.
Howell and his fellow Republicans, who hold a veto-proof lock on the House and regained a majority in the Senate, rebuffed efforts to expand Medicaid last session.
But with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe continuing to push for expansion, Howell agreed to convene a special session Sept. 18 for further debate.
GOP Delegate Tom Rust, R-Herndon, has broken ranks with a Medicaid proposal of his own. Howell says it will get a hearing, but he remains staunchly opposed to expansion.