Medicaid expansion could dominate 2016 General Assembly

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In a recent statement, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said he hopes Medicaid expansion will be brought up again during the 2016 General Assembly legislative session.

SALEM (WSLS 10) - Less than one week after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld key provisions in the Affordable Care Act, a familiar political battle could return to Virginia.

In response to the King v. Burwell ruling, Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement saying in part:

"With this issue decided, I hope we can now put partisan politics aside and help 400,000 Virginians get access to health care by bringing our taxpayer dollars home to close the coverage gap."

During the 2013 session, the battle to expand Medicaid nearly shut down the government. Democrats say it's a necessity to help those in the Commonwealth in need. Republicans argue Virginia can't afford it, and they question if the federal government will hold up its end of the bargain to provide the money promised.

"He took us right to the brink of a government shutdown over expanding Obamacare," Del. Greg Habeeb (R-Salem) said of McAuliffe. "The citizens have made it clear they don't want to expand Obamacare, our budget can't handle it. I expect the governor is going to try and play politics again but I don't think there's any appetite in Virginia."

The issue won't be presented to the General Assembly again until the next legislative session, beginning in January 2016.

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