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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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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are scheduled to outline a plan on how to protect and improve the federal Affordable Care Act in Maryland.

Lawmakers will announce the plan Tuesday in Annapolis.

State Sens. Brian Feldman and Jim Rosapepe are scheduled to attend, as well as Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, says the Affordable Care Act has been a success in Maryland, and state officials need to protect it.

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Delaware State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro is urging Senator Tom Carper to get an extension for those signing up for the Affordable Care Act.

Navarro told the Wilmington News Journal that he is worried there will not be enough time to enroll in the health insurance exchange.

So, he said, he is consulting with the Delaware Democrat’s office and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield about extending the deadline to January 1st.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delawareans will pay 25 percent more next year than they did this year for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

State insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced Thursday that he had approved the latest double-digit increase for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will be the only insurer providing ACA coverage in Delaware.

Highmark sought a rate increase of 33.6 percent earlier this year after Aetna, which covers almost 12,000 Delawareans under the ACA, announced that it is pulling out of Delaware health insurance exchange.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - About 70,000 people in Virginia could lose the option of buying individual health insurance plans next year.

The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday three insurers have announced they plan to pull out of Virginia's individual market next year. Last week, Optima Health said it would no longer offer individual plans where Sentara Health does not have hospitals and providers.

That will leave some parts of Virginia without the option of buying individual insurance. The changes affect all individual plans, not just those sold through the Affordable Care Act.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - A company that offers individual health insurance plans in Virginia says it's scaling back while raising rates next year.

The Daily Press in Newport News reports that Optima Health made the decision as the future of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain. Three other insurers recently announced they're pulling out of Virginia's individual market.

Optima reversed plans to sell individual plans in the Richmond, Danville and Bristol areas. It will remain in the Hampton Roads region and other markets, including Harrisonburg.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - As proposals to change the nation's health insurance landscape continue to move swiftly, a Maryland commission created to monitor potential changes to the Affordable Care Act is scheduled to meet for the first time.

The panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Annapolis.

Democrats who control the legislature created the commission by legislation this year, out of concern that President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress would repeal the health care law. So far, they haven't, but the White House is insisting that the Senate resume efforts to repeal.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is extending an invitation to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to visit a free health clinic for the state's poor later this week.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the Republican majority leader could hear firsthand stories from people who struggle to obtain adequate health care.

The governor has been critical of Republican efforts to repeal the "Obamacare" health law. McAuliffe's invite is his latest effort to draw attention to the issue. 

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The Senate will not vote on its health care bill this week after losing the support of GOP lawmakers and a bad review by the Congressional Budget Office. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller was in Salisbury for a luncheon at the Greater Salisbury Chamber of Commerce where we sat down with him to talk about the Senate measure what must be done to fix the health care system.

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Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury for a luncheon where he told Delmarva Public Radio that he was frustrated by the plans on Capitol Hill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

During a luncheon in Salisbury he told Delmarva Public Radio that he had urged the state’s Maryland congressional delegation to seek compromise on reforming the Affordable Care Act.

As for the Senate bill the Maryland Republican said he did not believe that it would serve the interests of the state residents.