Feb. 20, 2014
The Virginia House and Senate are split on whether to accept federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to as much as 400,000 low-income residents.
The two chambers voted Thursday to approve their respective biennial budget proposals.
The GOP-controlled House voted against expanding Medicaid eligibility. The Democratically controlled Senate, with the support of a few Republicans, voted for the expanded coverage.
Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement he remains optimistic that members of both parties can find common ground to pass the Senate plan.
Democrats have argued that expanding Medicaid program eligibility would help Virginia's working poor. Republicans say the current program needs to be reformed.
The new federal health care law would reimburse states that expand Medicaid eligibility for lower-income residents. The Supreme Court ruled that the expansions are optional.