Governor Terry McAuliffe continued his push for Medicaid expansion Tuesday during a visit to the New River Valley. Stopping at a community health center and a hospital, McAuliffe said Virginians are demanding action on the issue.
McAuliffe has been traveling the state trying to build support for Marketplace Virginia, the plan that would use federal Medicaid funds to extend private health insurance coverage to up to 400,000 Virginians.
The Governor made two stops in the area, visiting the Community Health Center of the New River Valley in Christiansburg, and LewisGale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg.
Speaking to staff and patients of the community health center, McAuliffe said Medicaid expansion is "as important an issue as the state has faced in a long time." "It's hard to get anything done, McAuliffe said, "when the answer is no, no, no."
He encouraged supporters of Medicaid expansion to contact Republican delegates who oppose the plan.
House Republicans are firm in their opposition, saying they won't support a budget that includes Medicaid expansion. They say expanding what they describe as a broken program will be a costly mistake the state will ultimately regret.
"Right now we have no specifics on Medicaid expansion," said Delegate Nick Rush (R) Christiansburg. "It's just a concept plan. And I'd really like to see the Governor's actual thoughts on this, not just rhetoric."
Lawmakers will return to Richmond for a special session beginning on March 24th.