Virginia GOP Lawmakers Soften on Medicaid Expansion

Jan 30, 2018

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans are softening their opposition to expanding the state's Medicaid program.

House Speaker Kirk Cox sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday saying his caucus is willing to begin a dialogue on healthcare.

But Cox says Republicans still oppose a "straightforward" expansion of the publicly funded healthcare program for the poor and disabled, and that any discussion must include work requirements and other reforms favored by the GOP.

Virginia Republicans have previously been steadfast in opposition to Medicaid expansion, a key part of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

But conservative state lawmakers around the country who have resisted expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are re-thinking that stance now that the Trump administration is allowing work requirements for low-income recipients.