Medicaid expansion

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Even with new support from key GOP leaders, Medicaid expansion in Virginia still faces serious roadblocks. That includes a fierce intraparty squabble among Republicans and strong disagreement among expansion supporters on how to pay for it.

Those divisions were on display Thursday as both chambers of the GOP-controlled General Assembly debated whether Medicaid expansion should be included in the state budget. The House favors Medicaid expansion and the new hospital tax, which the Senate opposes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The chances of Virginia joining a majority of states that have expanded Medicaid have increased significantly after a key GOP lawmaker flipped positions on the issue.

Republican Del. Terry Kilgore said Thursday on the John Fredericks Show that he'd changed his mind after years of opposition to Medicaid expansion and now supports it.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.

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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.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill intended to help a shuttered hospital has failed in Virginia after Democrats had pressured a Republican state senator into supporting Medicaid expansion.

The Washington Post reports the vote on Tuesday was 30-to-10 with all 21 Republicans, along with nine Democrats, for it. The votes were short of the supermajority needed for emergency legislation.

Republican Sen. William Stanley says he was angry and ashamed of his colleagues. Stanley said he has never told any of them that "Unless you do something for me, I will kill your bill."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - New Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking the Republican-backed General Assembly to pass a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicaid, stricter gun regulations and protecting abortion rights.

The governor made his remarks in a major address to state lawmakers Monday, saying that voters sent a clear message in last November's election when Democrats made major gains.

His remarks came the same day a GOP-led legislative panel defeated a top Northam priority to expand background checks on gun buyers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is leaving office after a largely successful four-year term that saw his image reinvented from fundraiser to accomplished administrator.

Known as a top Democratic money man and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, McAuliffe has notched a series of successes as governor of the nation's 12th largest state. They range from major transportation deals to an overhaul of the state's juvenile justice programs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam says curbing gun violence and expanding Medicaid will be two of his top legislative priorities after he takes office Saturday.

Northam spoke with outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a press conference Tuesday, one day before the start of the General Assembly session. The two laid out a joint legislative package.

It includes legislation that would implement universal background checks for gun purchases. It also calls for Medicaid expansion to cover more low-income Virginians.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia General Assembly is set to kick off its 2018 session.

Lawmakers will officially convene at noon Wednesday, and a host of new faces will fill the House of Delegates, where Democrats picked up 15 seats in the November elections.

Later in the day, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe will give his final State of the Commonwealth address.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - This week's groundswell of political change in Virginia has improved the odds of Medicaid expansion becoming law there. The long-stalled liberal priority gained new life after Democrats nearly wiped out Republicans' overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates.

It had repeatedly failed when Republicans controlled two-thirds of the chamber.

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