Governor Ralph Northam has signed a budget that grants healthcare to hundreds of thousands of additional Virginians through the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.
The bill signing concludes a months long standoff over the budget and a 5 year battle over the expansion of Medicaid. Nearly 2 dozen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote for the spending plan after a wave election for Democrats last November.
Governor Northam says the bipartisan deal exemplifies the Virginia way. “Virginians send us to Richmond to make their lives better. That’s what this budget will do.”
Virginia must now request a federal waiver to allow the state to expand Medicaid. Governor Northam says he’s optimistic they will grant that waiver quickly and newly eligible enrollees will be able to sign up for health insurance by January of 2019.