Democratic Senate Caucus Chairman Don McEachin of Henrico is asking Speaker of the House Bill Howell for an alternate healthcare plan to cover the 400,000 working Virginians without health insurance. In a January Op Ed, Howell said Virginia should find alternatives to expanding the state’s Medicaid program to help those uninsured in the coverage gap. A spokesman for Howell says the House of Delegates remains adamant that any discussion of expanding Medicaid must be removed from the budget. McEachin says a House proposal to include $118 million for free clinics and hospital treatment is inadequate. McEachin says if House Republicans are unwilling to negotiate the Senate’s Medicaid alternative plan, Marketplace Virginia, he’s prepared to let the standoff extend beyond the June 30th expiration of the current budget.