Republicans in the state Senate used the defeat of Virginian Eric Cantor as an excuse, "with some explicitly invoking the loss as a caution against passing anything that might be construed as supporting the Affordable Care Act." Because everyone knows Cantor was such a champion of Obamacare, and that's why he was beat on Tuesday.
Democrats tried to make their Republican colleagues see the immorality of their actions. Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), told the story of how he had been diagnosed with rectal cancer just last year, and received lifesaving treatment thanks to the state coverage he has as a lawmaker.
“Oh it's fine for us,” McEachin said of the health care coverage. “But we would deny that to people who work every day... How dare we?”Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun), was having none of the morality argument. In fact, he was triumphant.
"This was a stunning victory for the Republicans. We passed a budget in a single night and we have effectively blocked Medicaid expansion."That's about as clear a statement of Republican values as you are ever going to see. He's gloating over the fact that he and his colleagues killed health care for 400,000 Virginians for the next two years, at least. They included a provision in the budget that requires legislative approval of funding for Medicaid expansion, so McAuliffe won't be able to act on his own. He hasn't said yet what he intended to do with this budget, though he risks a state government shutdown if a budget isn't signed by July 1. He issued this statement after the vote: "When this budget reaches my desk I will evaluate it carefully and take the actions that I deem necessary, but this fight is far from over. This is the right thing to do for Virginia, and I will not rest until we get it done." How he gets it done with the current legislature is, right now, pretty hard to imagine.