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Terry McAuliffe, Democratic nominee for Virginia governor, holds up a volunteer sign-up card as he campaigns in Dale City, Virginia, October 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTX14QKH

The Virginia legislature convened Monday for a special session, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe offered them a deal—give him two years of Medicaid expansion, and if at that point it hasn't helped the state, they can end it.
McAuliffe said he has assurance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Virginia can launch a two year pilot to use the federal funds and get out of it with no obligation. […]

With the CMS assurance, "there can be no more excuses," he said.

If expansion ends, he says he will take the responsibility.

"It's a risk that I am willing to take for our families from one end of Virginia to the other."
"Everybody else is off the hook," he said.

McAuliffe said that the 400,000 working, uninsured poor need this expansion, as does the state which he says would "save the state $1.1 billion by 2022, including $225 million over the next budget biennium." His plan would allow Medicaid coverage as soon as October. Republicans are lukewarm, at best, saying that the promise from the federal governments doesn't actually mean the state could end the expansion after two years. They are right, but not on the administrative side—the federal government would let them do it—but politically. Once 400,000 people gained access to health care, it couldn't easily be taken away. Virginia Republicans instead intend to offer a private option Medicaid proposal, like the one in Arkansas.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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