Virginia's Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he can expand Medicaid at no-cost to state

November 06, 2015

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said he will pursue a strategy to expand Medicaid that he thinks will be more palatable to conservatives - one that he said would allow Virginia to extend healthcare benefits to 400,000 uninsured citizens at no cost to the state. Under the ACA, states that allow more people onto their Medicaid rolls can pass along most of the cost to the federal government. Once the law is fully implemented in 2020, states are supposed to pay 10%. The notion was greeted skeptically by Republicans, who took the comments to mean that he is considering a "bed tax" or "provider assessment" - the subject of a state work group that wrapped up in October. Earlier this year, Virginia's Provider Assessment Work Group discussed the possibility of charging hospitals a new tax, perhaps 1% to 3% of gross revenues, then using that money to cover the state's share of the Medicaid expansion tab. The group also discussed using that tax revenue in other ways to shore up the healthcare safety net, such as increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates. The approach is similar to one adopted in Indiana, where hospitals provide the state's contribution. 
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