Va. Republicans play for time on Medicaid expansion

February 11

Last week, I wrote that one possible option House Republicans may pursue in the simmering battle over Medicaid expansion is to play for time. On Monday, that’s exactly what they did:

The House of Delegates on Monday passed a resolution calling for an in-depth audit of Virginia’s Medicaid program, something supporters say is overdue and opponents say is a tactic to delay expansion of eligibility.

The resolution calls on the legislature’s study arm, the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission, to conduct “an independent, comprehensive operational and financial audit” of the Medicaid program.

Republicans say such an audit hasn’t been done and is critical before Republicans would consider expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income Virginians.

I’m all for audits of large government programs. A comprehensive audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation conducted during the early days of the McDonnell administration found well over $1 billion either sitting on the shelf. The great and good decried the audit (I’m thinking in particular of the state’s editorial boards). The results proved otherwise.

So audit the state’s Medicaid program. Find out what is working and what isn’t and suggest ways it can be fixed. Fans of Medicaid expansion will strongly disagree. But the House has made its opening bid.

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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Michael Larabee · February 7