Medicaid Expansion Continues to Delay Budget Approval

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Republicans and Democrats are refusing to back down on the issue of Medicaid expansion and the state government could be heading towards a shutdown.

Dr. Jim Josefson, a political science professor at Bridgewater College, said it's hard to tell, but both sides really trying to get the public on their sides.

An online Republican petition is asking for a vote on the budget without Medicaid, while Democrats have an online petition pushing for Medicaid expansion.

Josefson said he expects the pressure from hospitals to expand Medicaid to get more intense the longer this goes on, which could make it tougher for some Republicans who have major hospitals in their districts; however, he thinks the Republican base is going to be a major influence on the other side.

"Conservative activists are very powerful in Virginia, and these are people who really, really, really hate the Affordable Care Act, and government programs like Medicaid in general. It's going to be very, very difficult for these lawmakers to go against these people in the base," said Josefson.

As of now, it appears this will come down to a showdown to see which side will cave in first.

So far, neither side has given an indication they're going to and it looks like it may take some time for this to be resolved.

They have until July 1 before a state government shutdown.


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