If the Speaker of the House is opposed to Medicaid Expansion, and if he says that the language already prevents the Governor from unilaterally expanding Medicaid, it seems pretty strange to be so vigorously opposed to Senator Dick Black’s efforts to ensure that’s the case.
I have three simple questions for Republican members of the General Assembly:
1. Why not allow clarifying language?
2. Why is House leadership putting so much pressure on the Virginia Senators to pass a budget without the Black amendment?
It will be interesting to see, as this unfolds, to what lengths some people will have gone to confuse, distort, and obfuscate the truth.
In reality the issue of the Black amendment is very simple, and your support comes down to one question:
3. Are you against Medicaid expansion, or are you in favor of allowing the Governor to do it so that you don’t have your fingerprints on it?
The budget has passed both House with good Amendments and without the medicare expansion scheme. http://fairfaxfreecitizen.com/2014/06/13/5132/
Regardless of what we thought was the case on Medicaid reform before, looks like a clear clarification is part of the new budget. I expect the amendment by Senator Hanger that passed the Senate will be stripped out by the House. What the Governor does next will be interesting.
You think there’s a chance the Governor will veto the budget? I don’t see that happening.
What if he line items out that new language? He still has some final plays in this game.
We Did It!!!! The grassroots won again! Thanks to Dick Black and Steve Albertson!
Senator Dick Black is in complete support of the two amendments Stanley has presented.
Amendments are going to pass! It’s been a long day for many of us here and way longer day for our friends in the Senate and the House. I loved it that Senator Black pointed out that citizens found the wording in the budget that gave the Governor the power to enact medicaid unilaterally. That citizen was Steve Albertson in this post, http://thebullelephant.com/now-called-clean-budget/ Grassroots have had two big wins this week! Thanks to all of YOU!
Congrats to Steve A. for bringing this issue to the forefront a mere two days ago. The Republican votes in favor of the Stanley Amendments were set in motion here.
Yes, Steve is responsible for what’s happening tonight in the Senate! So proud of my partner.
Good work, Senator Stanley.
Steve: Fascinating. This is what I have been told for well over a year now, ever since the transportation bill was cobbled together, by any number of people — leaders, non-leaders, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, moderates, liberals, media, blogs, etc. MIRC was set up to determine whether to expand and/or reform Medicaid and that it was the determining body to do so, taking that authority away from the General Assembly. This part of the transportation “deal” riled some of our friends and did not rile others and it is what I thought was the case, as did a whole slew of our elected folks and policy folks on all sides of this issue. It is why the MIRC has held a number of meetings. It is why Senator Hanger wanted to change the way the votes on the MIRC were taken for approval of Medicaid expansion from a majority of the Senate members AND the House members to a majority of the whole. As I said at the beginning … Fascinating.
You people continue to push for passage of a budget with about an $11B increase over the last budget.
Not one of you is a fiscal Conservative. You are a disgrace to the word Conservative, you are nothing but Big spending, Liberal , Republican Hypocrites.
What a joke!
Jim, as your doctor, I prescribe two weeks in Colorado with a half dozen Pink Floyd Albums.
Cantorize them all if they insist on Jedi mind tricks and carnival shell games to bring Medicaid expansion to Virginia. The promises we’ve heard from Senator Stuart that the Republicans are standing firm against it. The declarations from Republican Delegates that not one Republican is in favor of it all seem a little flat right now. Delegate Howell strong-armed House Republicans to pass the transportation tax hikes. His promise to protect those who were with him didn’t work for those republicans that lost primaries and the general election. Any promises coming out of the Republicans in Richmond should be looked at with a jaundiced eye.
Susan: as I understand it, the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) now has full authority to expand or not expand Medicaid and what reforms must be proven first. That is the law. If I remember correctly, before MIRC last year, Governor McDonnell said the Gov might be able to expand that entitlement program by executive action.
Mike, I know and respect you as a policy guru, but you’re just repeating talking points. Can you point me to any language in the budget that says the ONLY WAY Medicaid expands is via MIRC? If you can, this is a nonissue. Problem is, you can’t…I’ve been searching for the answer for 10 months now. A unanimous Senate GOP caucus came to same conclusion tonight.
Steve, the language you all are concerned about is in the existing budget that we are currently operating under.
Don’t you think that if McAuliffe could have used the language you’re concerned about to unilaterally expand Medicaid, he’d have already done it?
Item 307, pages 298-299. This is existing law.
Again, I don’t have a problem with Dick Black’s amendment – especially since it can’t be vetoed unless McAuliffe vetoes the whole bill, but I don’t think it’s critically necessary or Medicaid can be expanded by fiat.
It can’t hurt to be sure, with the slippery weasels we’re dealing with.
I agree that it can’t hurt to be sure.
For a bill that wasn’t ‘critically necessary’ the democrats sure fought hard against it! Doesn’t that tell us something? duh.
They didn’t fight that hard.
When a GOP majority is unified, a Democrat minority has no winning play.
Hahahaha, I guess you weren’t privy to everything that’s been happening this week and especially on Thursday.
Since you run here to publish every single thing you hear, regardless of whether it’s true or not, if you were privy to everything that’s been happening, you’d have blogged it.
And yes, I know what’s been going on, and it has been going on longer than this week.
Brian, I’ve been immersed in this for over 10 months. Other than perhaps Chris Jones and legislative services people, I doubt there is anyone more familiar with the text of old 307/new 301. And no, I don’t think he would do it unless he had to…it comes with too much risk: legal (mild…he’d win in court) and political (big, and unpredictable). Much better to give it a go in the GA, but ultimately I think McEachin and others gave away the game in their speeches…they knew what was coming and were upset that the plan got disturbed. Gimme a ring…happy to fill you in on all the nitty gritty.
Here is the part of the Virginia Code where the MIRC was established and that those who feel (felt) that it has the authority to make the Medicaid expansion decision: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+30-347
The additional action by the General Assembly two nights ago clarifies that it must allocate funds for any expansion in the normal legislative manner. I can see why Speaker Howell felt that no changes were necessary and I can see why clarification was passed. Now the question is whether the Governor has the authority to strike this part of the budget bill — inquiring minds want to know!
Mike, the “amendment” was actually a two step process. First, they deleted the appropriation, then they replaced it with the language that passed. If the Governor vetoes the language that passed, he’s still left without the open-ended appropriation that he would have needed to act on his own. Very clever move designed by Sen. Richard Stuart.
WRT to the statute you linked to, ready it carefully: it calls out MIRC’s purpose as being to “approve” expansion, but in the enabling language it only says MIRC can “endorse” reform proposals. You really have to go out of your way to write a law that is so vague, don’t you think? It would have been a simple thing to draft legislation that clearly gave the MIRC exclusive authority to expand, but this is what we got instead. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, and neither do the Democrats.
The difference is also one of controlling both House and Senate, and only controlling the House in the budget process. Good change if it can remain in the budget.
The language in the two new amendments prevent that from happening. MIRC never had the authority to do it on their own without the Governor.
Jeanine, what? Don’t think that’s right.
What’s up with the extended Senate recess, called by Sen. Stosch, that started at ~6:05pm and was supposed to end at 6:30pm? It’s now 7:45pm and still no Senate deliberations.
They are trying to determine if they will pass Dick Black’s amendment, reject it, or modify it.
Democrats have called for a recess until 9:39 because they’re about to lose the vote.