Last night on a 64 to 33 vote, the House of Delegates rejected a private insurance based Medicaid expansion alternative proposal from a northern Virginia Republican. The plan from Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax would return $1.9 billion that Virginians are already paying under the Affordable Care Act to the Commonwealth, to expand coverage through employer based insurance, managed care organizations and qualified health plans and would also remake the existing Virginia Medicaid program.
Articles by Craig Carper
The House of Delegates has voted to give the Speaker of the House the power to hire outside counsel to defend the state’s ban on same sex marriage or any other state law. Attorney General Mark Herring declined to defend the same sex marriage ban earlier this year and has since actively worked against it. The resolution represents the position of the House and does not need the approval of the Senate or Governor.
Advocates for Medicaid expansion say real people will be affected by the decisions the Virginia legislature makes during its two-day special session, beginning today (September 18) at noon.
Ray Scher, a member of Virginia Organizing, wants legislators to vote their conscience when the consider expanding the state’s Medicaid program. Scher says Medicaid expansion is a social ethical issue, not a political or special interest group issue.
The plan from Republican Delegate Tom Rust of Fairfax returns $1.9 billion that Virginians are already paying under the Affordable Care Act to the Commonwealth, to expand coverage through employer based insurance, managed care organizations and qualified health plans on the federal exchange to create a bridge program.
The Rust plan also provides financial assistance to those who earn between 133% and 150% of the federal poverty rate to encourage them to buy coverage. His bill would then substantially remake the existing Virginia Medicaid program.
Tomorrow (9/18) the General Assembly will likely overwhelmingly approve legislation to fill vacant judgeships and close the state’s most recent $1.2 billion budget shortfall. Though no progress is expected on expanding access to health coverage for the state’s poorest citizens.
Attorney General Mark Herring has filed a $1.15 billion lawsuit against 13 of the world’s largest banks for misleading the Virginia Retirement System into purchasing risky mortgage-backed securities during the housing bubble that led to the recession.
Governor Terry McAuliffe and Speaker of the House Bill Howell have announced their compromise plan to close the state’s most recent 1.2 billion-dollar budget gap, without raising taxes or cuts to K-12 public education. The plan cuts spending by up to 3.5%, though so far neither the Governor nor the House leadership can say whether that will lead to cuts in state jobs or how many that may be. The state will withdraw just over $700 million from the Rainy Day Fund over the next two years.
Richmond’s Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall has resigned after 5 years on the job. Marshall served as Richmond’s CAO longer than anyone recent history due to Dwight Jones being the first Mayor of Richmond to serve for more than four years in almost 3 decades. Marshall was one of the architects of Mayor Jones’ plan to move the Flying Squirrels to a new stadium in Shockoe Bottom. The press release from Mayor Jones’ office announcing Marshall’s departure did not explain his reasons for leaving.
In addition to the $177,000 in gifts and loans given to the McDonnells, the family also accepted multiple flights from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. Lawmakers are expected to look at travel rules when they re-examine ethics reform during the 2015 General Assembly session.
A juror from the corruption trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell says reaching a guilty verdict was not a difficult decision. Kathleen Carmody, a project manager for the Association for Molecular Pathology, says her 11 fellow jurors felt the same way, having quickly reached a unanimous position.