Governor McAuliffe Visits Augusta Health To Talk Medicaid Expansion

Governor McAuliffe visited Augusta Health promoting his plans for Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

Governor visits Augusta Health

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Governor McAuliffe visited Augusta Health promoting his plans for Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

The governor has long pushed for Medicaid expansion in the state and he is now talking with hospital leaders and doctors about the importance of the plan.

One of the many people that spoke at the discussion was Jeff Clark.

"I think he not only understood, but he actually cares," said Clark.

Clark, who was a patient at Augusta Health, has family members who need Medicaid, but can't get it.

"It's not like we're asking for a free handout, but we helped build America, so why shouldn't we be helped too," Clark said.

The main topics the governor pushed were reasons why Virginia should have Medicaid expansion.

McAuliffe mentioned, "That bill isn't gonna go away; someone is going to pay for it. Our businesses are going to pay for it, both small and large. They are going to bear the burden."

Among other topics was the budget.

"I do believe as we go through the budget process, that we'll get to a common place everybody understands. We'll get where we need to be. We'll pass a budget, it will include and have within it, closing the coverage gap," McAuliffe said.

However, not long after the governor left, his opponents swept in.

Delegate Ben Cline said, "Medicaid over the past 30 years has grown by 16 hundred percent, it is out of control."

He and others held their own press conference and gave their thoughts on why Medicaid expansion would be bad for Virginia.

"It's crowding out things like school funding, it's crowding out teacher funding, it's crowding out sheriff's deputies, it's crowding out mental health care, it's crowding out a host of other areas of the budget because it's poorly managed," Cline said.

Virginians can only sit and wait as the debate over Medicaid expansion continues. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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