General Assembly members: if you oppose Medicaid expansion in Virginia, now is finally your chance to have a real impact.
There has been a lot of ink spilled lately about whether Terry McAuliffe can expand Medicaid on his own if the Virginia General Assembly doesn’t act to do so in this year’s budget. Republicans argue that the governor does not have authority to either run state government or to expand Medicaid without an appropriation from the legislature. And, of course, that’s correct under the state Constitution.
But, unfortunately, the budget currently under consideration by our new majority in the Senate leaves room for doubt about whether the Governor in fact would have the appropriation he would need to somehow try to unilaterally expand Medicaid. More details here, but the relevant language is below:
9. There is hereby appropriated sum sufficient nongeneral funds for such costs as may be incurred to implement coverage for newly eligible individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(y)(1) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
It’s important to understand this is a blanket appropriation, and nowhere does the budget say that this appropriation is contingent on any other action by the General Assembly or its special Medicaid commission, the MIRC. We, together with a lot of members of the General Assembly, believe this provision is likely key to any effort by the Governor to expand Medicaid.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that, owing to former Sen. Phil Puckett’s retirement from the Virgina Senate last weekend, Republicans now have a majority in the Senate. That means Republicans now have the opportunity to pass a budget from both houses that protects against the possibility that the Governor would act on his own.
Unfortunately, rather than seize this opportunity, some Republicans in the General Assembly are instead putting up a fight. They are claiming that no such measure is necessary, or that people backing such a protective step are kooks, cranks, and crazies. So, from here I address each member of the General Assembly: ask yourself why some of your anti-Medicaid colleagues are throwing such a fit about simply protecting the prerogative of the legislature to enact any Medicaid expansion…ask yourself why the reaction has been so visceral. If the budget already blocks the Governor, then what’s the harm in merely making it explicit? I’ve heard reports of yelling and cursing within the more numerous caucus, so I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the answer. And, I also don’t have to tell you what it would mean to be complicit in facilitating the backdoor expansion of Medicaid outside of a genuine, public debate and legislative vote.
Regardless of your view about whether the “kooks” have it right on the budget language, you can’t deny that the Governor and his lawyers are thinking of ways for him to do this on his own. So, I ask you, member of the General Assembly, to not vote for any budget that has not been modified to AFFIRMATIVELY AND EXPLICITLY strip the Governor of any authority to expand Medicaid. Of course, you do not have to do what I ask. You instead may decide it’s just not worth making waves with leadership. I get it…it’s tough.
But anyway, think about this while you ponder what to do. Wild things have happened as a result of above-board votes that happened without any sense anyone was trying to hide things from the voters. I can’t imagine how widespread the reaction would be if voters thought their legislators saw an opportunity to stop Obama in his tracks but decided they didn’t have the courage to do so, unlike Berg, Marshall, and Black, among others. In the meantime, I’ll be here if you have questions. I’d be happy to hear why blocking the Governor from expanding Medicaid is a bad idea.
Who knows…I could be wrong.
Steve, read the entire section.
All of that is contingent on the MIRC determining that all of the demanded reforms to Medicaid have been made before any of that language is operative.
Regardless, if it makes folks feel better to explicitly block this stuff, I’m fine with that.
As there is zero trust left, there needs to be zero ambiguity.
Starting a war against the grassroots has consequences, and one of those consequences is that we now know who needs to be carefully watched and reminded of their duty and proper allegiance to the people.
The message to our representatives has been delivered: You work for us.
We’ll see who thinks they can get away with ignoring that message. I predict, with high confidence, poor outcomes for those who do.
Virginia’s Governor is little more than any other liberal political operative. He follows Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals religiously which means saying whatever he needs to say to anybody if it advances his liberal agenda, regardless of eitehr truth or merit. Just demonize your political opponents, abuse the power of government to keep them tied up in knots to distract them, and tell any lie or make any promise to the public necessary to get your agenda in place–knowing that your side won’t ever feel bound by any of this. So promise that Virginia will simply dump 400,000 or more newly minted Medicare patients off of this new entitlement when (and not if) the Federal government decides the debt crisis makes it impossible for the Government to continue to fund the States at levels promised when the program was being sold to them! Act insulted if anybody claims “Bait and Switch” and get your media to run stories that “nobody saw this coming” and the crisis must be considered “An act of God! Of course, even the totally predictable ultimate collapse of the system advances the Left’s agenda since their real goal is a totally Government controlled single-payer system in the first place! That will, in turn, come with the added power to withhold or delay health care via informal rationing death panels when it comes to political enemies, dissidents, gun owners, conservatives, Right-to-Life members, Republicans, Christians and other politically designated undesirables. In Terry’s view, Medicare Expansion is indeed the ticket to liberal Nirvana so what’s not to love about it?
AMEN George from Suffolk! I’ve never heard it said any better!
[…] Today is the day of reckoning. A budget will be passed now that Republicans control both chambers of the assembly, but a significant issue MUST be addressed before the budget is passed – amending the budget to explicitly state that the governor has no authority to unilaterally expand Me…! […]
It is important to remember that these 400,000 additional people are not in poverty. I boggles my mind that intelligent people seem to forget that when you give “free money” to someone, you take it from someone else. And the person you took it from is a hard-working person who pays taxes.
Although the Federal Government is expected to initially pay for these additional people on Medicaid, the burden will soon shift back to Virginia’s working families. That financial burden would jeopardize Virginia’s financial health and put our AAA Bond rating at risk. This is one reason that recent
polls show that a large majority of Virginians oppose expanding Medicaid.
I suspect that this number has grown since the discovery of a sizable budget shortfall.
Let’s all be honest and say what this is – it’s just another way to get one
step closer to single payer healthcare system, which is government run
Americans got an inside look at what government run healthcare looks like when the VA scandal hit the news. 40 veterans had to die before the media even took a glance at this problem that has been around for decades. Who can our veterans complain to when they have to wait a year for an appointment? No one. Who will you complain to when your family is on government run healthcare? No one. The government doesn’t care and has
never run anything efficiently. Even when there is a scandal, all it does is force the president to make a firmly worded speech and then accept the resignation of a scapegoat. See? Problem solved. As Democrats are quick to say, “It’s time to move forward.” How comforting to those veterans.
Take a good look at the VA scandal because that is what government healthcare looks like. If our government can’t fix this system for a group of veterans, imagine how bad it will get when they move 300,000 million people onto the system.
With the Black amendment the Senate Republicans probably do not have the votes to pass the clean budget.
Because they [Senate Republicans] want the upper hand in the budget standoff with the Governor they want to pass the “clean budget,” even though they know there is a reasonable danger that the Governor will use the vague language in the budget to expand Medicaid. Those resisting the Black amendment are more concerned about the temporary political victory of passing a “clean budget,” than actually stopping Medicaid expansion. The “kooks, cranks, and crazies” are belittled in order to justify their votes against the Black amendment, and not because they actually believe we are conspiracy nuts.
Unlike Dave Brat, I DO have a “well crafted” response Steve.
1) In spite of the lies told about Terry McAuliffe by Republican’s during his campaign, the same type lies that the right whined about during the Brat/Cantor primary, wasn’t Terry McAuliffe elected by the vote of the majority of Virginians last November? Your guy lost Steve, and this is not horseshoes.
2) Did not Terry McAuliffe promise that he would not sign a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion? Wasn’t that his promise to those who voted for him?
3) Who are you to “plant” your blockade of corporate PAC financed opposition in the path of the majority of Virginia voters? Just who, or what, entity signs your paycheck Steve? Who does Bob Marshall work for? Who does Barbara Comstock work for? Who does Chris Peace work for?
The Feds will pay 100% of MediCaid expansion the first 3 yrs., 95% the next 3 yrs., and 90 % after that.
Will Brat taking health insurance out of the hands of the employer be popular with voters Steve?This is a Brat quote from a Huff Post Article about who he is,
“We need to also scrap employer-based health insurance, and give those incentives to individuals to carry their own portable health insurance,” he said of health care, adding that “If we did that, the issue of pre-existing conditions largely goes away.”
This did not work for Wittman. The healthcare lobby will shut this one down fast, real fast.
One of the many differences between me and “yours” Steve is this, you want to change the Candidate, I want to change the system. If elected, Brat will be just like all of the other freshman members of congress, he will have an office about the size of a jail cell, with a telephone, and he will work the phones selling corporate vending machine legislation. He can do nothing for more years than he says he wants to stay. That is the system.
Federal Tax money comes out of my pocket too, so get your greedy hands out of my pocket.
Well, you are right, and you are wrong. Turn of the hate media dude!
Some Federal Money comes from Taxaition.
Some Federal money comes out of thin air through a computer. Where do you think 85 Billion dollars a month for QE came from? QE is/was nothing but food stamps and a continuous Wall Street Bailout! Over a trillion dollars a year for Wall St.
Did you complain about QE? Or, do you just lust to wipe out the middle-class? What is the difference between healthcare costs taking your money vs. taxes taking your money?
You seem to be being manipulated?
“…you can’t deny that the Governor and his lawyers are thinking of ways for him to do this on his own. ”
I think those who try to deny this are understandably afraid of the burden that events have placed on their shoulders. They’re like the Bedford Boys — one day those “boys” were members of a National Guard unit, enjoying doing manly things with their friends at their monthly drills, happy to be serving their country,
Dec 7, 1941 and the demands it suddely placed on their unit must have scared some of them, but they stepped up, all the way to June 6, 1944, at Omaha Beach.
Republican legislators need to realize the cigars and booze in the Capitol chambers, the galas, the special license plates — they were fun, but now your state needs you to step up.
Also, I’m taking names.
“OOooooo” Alexis is taking names…..scary
Many are. Folks that haven’t gotten the correct message from May, Sherwood, and now Cantor, will quickly find their names on that list. I really don’t care who thinks who is a kook — Go against the grassroots base, and you’ll find yourself in a different career. If my guy and gal don’t vote against this crap (IOW vote in such a way that this crap can occur,) they will think that Cantor made a good showing by comparison to their next race.