Va. Medicaid Panel Faces Contentious Task

March 3, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Some blue-ribbon commissions and task forces in Virginia government do little or nothing. The new Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission won't be so lucky.

The 12-member panel will dictate when - if ever - Medicaid expands and adds 400,000 uninsured low-income Virginians. And it will do it under the scrutiny of politicians, the media and possibly the courts.

The commission was conceived in political compromise and born in the closing hours of the 2013 General Assembly to keep the session's cornerstone transportation financing reforms alive.

Comprised of five senators, five delegates and two governor's appointees, the commission would determine if specified cost-saving and efficiency benchmarks have been met as a condition for expanding Medicaid.

Some Republican conservatives want Gov. Bob McDonnell to renounce it and are considering a court challenge.

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