RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) — For days, Virginia lawmakers have been grappling over whether or not to expand Medicaid, a health program for people with limited income and resources.
Governor Bob McDonnell has urged lawmakers to vote against expanding the program. He’s skeptical of Washington’s ability to pay its share of the program, especially with looming cuts. McDonnell has stated, before he can agree to any expansion, he wants an agreement from the Federal government, stating it will pay into the program.
As of Friday night, it appears lawmakers will reach a compromise with the governor. McDonnell sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader, Tommy Norment, praising lawmakers for holding off and agreeing to set up a commission that will seek ways to hold the U.S. government accountable. “I commend the conference committee for coming up with a concept to ensure that significant reforms are attained prior to any potential expansion of Medicaid,” states McDonnell.
Lawmakers will reconvene Saturday morning for a final decision.
An advocate for the disabled, Monica Wiley, calls the decision puzzling. She wants to know why the state isn’t taking advantage of the $2 billion the federal government is making available for the state’s initial expansion. “This debate is very inhuman,” says Wiley.