BREAKING: Virginia Gov. McAuliffe to Expand Health Care Coverage in Face of GOP Demagoguery

Friday, June 20, 2014

I can't embed the feed for whatever reason, so just click on the following image to watch Gov. McAuliffe's press conference on Virginia's budget at 11:30 am. I'll blog the highlights as well. Based on multiple sources, I'm expecting good news, but we'll see soon enough. :) UPDATE 12:24 pm: Rep. Jim Moran tweets, "@TerryMcAuliffe took a stand for all Virginians, not just the ideological few, and stood up for the healthcare security of 400k Virginians." UPDATE 12:19 pm: The Republicans start to weigh in with the expected bitching, whining, etc. Here's Bob Goodlatte on Twitter: "I am extremely disappointed in @GovernorVA's decision to circumvent the General Assembly and move to unilaterally enact Medicaid expansion." Waaaaaaaaa!!! Oh, and one of the nuttiest of the right wingnuts in the Virginia General Assembly, Greg Habeeb, tweets this cri de coeur (spelling "emperor" wrong and of course engaging in wild hyperbole, as is his wont): "@GovernorVA has made it clear he believes he was elected Emporer and is unchecked by the Rule of Law. You can't overstate what he's done." UPDATE 11:57 am: Del. Alfonso Lopez writes, "BRAVO - Proud of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe today!!...He is sick of the 'demagoguery, lies, fear, and cowardice...'" Also, see Del. Scott Surovell's analysis, "Vetoes Drop and Virginia Moves Forward". Del. Surovell writes: "In summary, he has vetoed legal prohibitions to expanding Medicaid and he is moving forward on Medicaid expansion due to political obstruction." UPDATE 11:53 am: DPVA tweets, "Thank you @GovernorVA for standing up for 400k uninsured Virginians!" Ben Tribbett tweets, "This is a bold move bc it means Gen Assembly is unlikely to approve much @GovernorVA does in next 3 years. TMac is making this his stand." I agree, and would just add that the GA wouldn't have approved much anyway, and this is the morally, economically, etc. stand to take! Ryan Nobles tweets, "Among many other things.. this is @GovernorVA challenging where the power lies in Richmond." Good! I also hear that the Virginia State Senate will sustain Gov. McAuliffe's vetoes. :) Now, can't wait to hear the Republicans' wail, whine, moan, scream, etc. UPDATE 11:51 am: Bottom line, according to Gov. McAuliffe, is that "we are moving forward," while the House of Delegates has turned their back "time and time again." Our health care is in horrible shape, we have the right to help people and do the right thing. "I go to bed every night with a pit in my stomach" because of sick Virginians he's met who are counting on us to do the right thing and get this done. UPDATE 11:45 am: Del. Mark Keam tweets, "@GovernorVA announced he will use power of line item veto to strike MIRC in budget to seek Medicaid expansion! Thank you Gov. McAuliffe!" Del. Marcus Simon tweets, "Virginia Politics has been making a lot of us sick lately. Today Virginia just got a lot healthier. I applaud.." Gov. McAuliffe says public-private partnerships are an option among several other options, but we WILL provide care for our citizens. Gov. McAuliffe thanks Attorney General's office, says he's working closely with AG's office on this. The bottom line is that 27 states have expanded Medicaid expansion, time for Virginia to do that too. DPVA Comms Director Ashley Bauman tweets, "So proud to work for @TerryMcAuliffe, a fierce advocate for ALL Virginians." Progress Virginia tweets, "Thank you @GovernorVA for standing up for health care for Virginia families!" Former McAuliffe campaign comms director Brennan Bilberry tweets, "Gov. McAuliffe's decision on Medicaid morally right, supported by majority of Virginians. Tea Party minority wrong on politics, policy" So true! Jeff Schapiro tweets, "If legislative R's don't think @GovernorVA McAuliffe is ticked about health care, he's also blocking construction of their new office bldg." UPDATE 11:38 am: This is the context which Gov. McAuliffe had to evaluate this overdue budget which contained larger-than-necessary budget cuts thanks to Republican refusal to take Medicaid funds. Tempting to veto the entire budget, but no confidence in General Assembly to get a budget. Will sign legislation, but will make line-item vetoes: 1) MIRC (Medicaid Innovation Review Commission) in its entirety, as it's "merely a sham to pretend that the legislature is actually doing something," which it isn't -- not wasting any more time on this sham, not going to attend or assist the MERC in any future activities; 2) the Stanley floor amendment, since it restricts something that doesn't exist. With respect to healthcare, let me be clear, "I am moving forward." Sec. Hazel will have a plan on my desk no later than 9/1 of this year to put in place a Medicaid-financed health care fix. :) UPDATE 11:32 am: Gov. McAuliffe starting the press conference now. Says it's "unconscionable" that we're not expanding Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of Virginians. Yet, "every single time" Republicans have "said no." He ran and won on the platform of expanding Medicaid. Republicans not only wouldn't compromise, they wouldn't even sit down and talk about the issue. Marketplace Virginia wasn't perfect, but was the best chance to get something through the House of Delegates. The GOP leadership in the House "rejected compromise." Gov. McAuliffe then offered yet ANOTHER compromise, yet once again Republican House leadership "said no...chose instead to subject our citizens to a protracted budget stalemate." Then, last week, the House Republicans again said now, refused "any and all compromise," turned its back on Virginians who need health care coverage. They've also elected to forfeit more than $5 million per day -- $852 million to date!