McAuliffe: Settle Medicaid or let me decide

Terry-McAuliffee1Commentary by Admin:

Is McAuliffe taking a play out of Obama’s book, well sort of? Obama said if Congress would not pass the things he mentioned in his agenda, then he would go over their heads and use his power of the Executive Order to make these things law, there by circumventing the legislative branch. McAuliffe isn’t doing quite that, but is asking the Virginia General Assembly for the power to do that on Medicaid Expansion in Virginia.

This Article Gives the Details:

Monday, January 20, 2014 12:11 pm | Updated: 8:01 am, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants lawmakers to give his office the authority to expand Medicaid if the panel authorized to allow expansion does not act by the end of this General Assembly session.

The governor met with chairmen of the House and Senate money committees this morning to discuss what he’d like to see in the two-year state budget that former Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed just before he left office.

The Medicaid authority was on his fiscal wish list, as was $5.4 million for salary sweeteners for school support staff in Northern Virginia, $240,000 for the Department of Military Affairs to buy radio equipment and $1 million for gasoline for Virginia State Police.

The new head of the House Appropriations Committee had told McAuliffe not to submit formal budget amendments, but to instead discuss his ideas with the committee chairmen. After his meeting this morning, McAuliffe held a news conference to announce his requests.

The governor campaigned on expanding Medicaid and pressed his case again today, asking that lawmakers give the governor the authority to accept federal funding if the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission fails to complete its work before the end of the 2014 regular session.

“I support the MIRC and the work it is doing,” he said, adding that the members are sincere and hard working and that the reforms made so far have “improved our Medicaid system and has made it more cost effective.”

“The members of the MIRC commission should be the group to make the decision to accept 100 percent federal funding for the next three years so that we can get 400,000 uninsured into the system, create up to 30,000 new jobs and bring back over $6 billion to run though the Virginia economy,” he continued. “But time is of the essence.”

He says he’s eager to work with the MIRC and lawmakers in a “bipartisan way” to bring deliberations to a close by the end of this session but if not, “I hope we can work together to transfer that decision making authority to the office of the governor so that we can move forward in a timely manner.”

Read the Full Article Here