Virginia’s McAuliffe has begun planning for Medicaid expansion


Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration is making plans to expand Medicaid (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Ryan M. Kelly)

RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is quietly planning the nuts-and-bolts of enrolling an extra 400,000 Virginians in Medicaid even as the House of Delegates seems firmly opposed as ever to expanding the health-care program for the poor.

The administration is considering how it would handle the flood of Medicaid applications that are expected to pour in if expansion comes to pass, possibly through the use of privately run call centers.

The planning comes on top of research McAuliffe’s office has conducted into whether he has the power to expand Medicaid by executive order if he cannot get the GOP-dominated House to budge. And it comes to light as McAuliffe is claiming broad authority to keep most, if not all, of state government running if the Medicaid standoff prevents passage of a budget before the start of the fiscal year July 1.

State officials acknowledged that planning is underway when asked about references to expansion in two documents obtained by The Washington Post. The documents are highly technical descriptions of computer system upgrades, and both make reference to changes required for Medicaid expansion.

Read the full story here.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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