Throughout the past decade until 2017, Republicans in the General Assembly steadfastly stood foursquare against the expansion of Medicaid protection to working Virginians. The primary reason: The state feared it would be forced to pick up more and more of the tab should the federal government renege on its pledge to pay for the lion’s share of the expansion.
But look who now is demonstrating bad faith? After Democrats made dramatic gains in the General Assembly in 2017, many Republicans agreed to expansion of the medical program providing there was some work provision involved. And so the agreement was made — but not for long.
After gaining control of both houses of the General Assembly this year, Democrats are taking a step back from the bipartisan compromise, Now, it is unlikely any work provision will be enacted.
“Virginians made it clear they want more access to health care, not less,” Gov. Northam said Wednesday in somewhat of a non sequitur. We don’t quite understand how a work provision would reduce the number of folks actually on Medicaid. All it means is that for certain people to qualify a work provision would be necessary.
For good reason, state Republicans are seeing red. They feel like they’ve been had — and they are right.
“He [Northam] gave his personal assurance that the long-term policy of the commonwealth would be Medicaid expansion with a work requirement,” said Republican Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, soon to be his party’s House minority leader.
“Broken promises like this are the reason so many people hate politics.”
They sure are.