Gov. McAuliffe, Southside Lawmakers Disagree Over Medicaid Expansion
Danville, VA - Medicaid expansion is one of Virginia's hottest topics. Governor Terry McAuliffe visited Danville Tuesday, saying the expansion is necessary, but a group of local leaders strongly disagree.
Governor McAuliffe made several stops in the area today, including a meeting at Danville Regional Medical Center.
The CEO of DRMC described their need for Medicaid expansion - saying the hospital would have to scale back many of its current programs and initiatives if Virginia doesn't close the coverage gap.
The Governor says many hospitals across the state would cease to exist without the expansion, but local Republicans say all the head bumping this has caused in Richmond is detrimental to Virginia.
They would like to see Governor McAuliffe remove Medicaid from the budget and consider it as a separate issue.
Those leaders say that would streamline the budget approval process and allow localities to focus on their own budgets.
"If the budget in state government is held up, they're going to be held up. This is an unnecessary post ion they're being put in," said Delegate Les Adams.
The Governor disagrees, saying Republican policymakers are making this about politics when it should be about people.
"This is another delaying tactic. Everyday they move the goal post. They want a new audit done... we've had 63 audits. Everyday it is something different, " said McAuliffe.
When asked whether he would approve a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion, McAuliffe said, "We have to close the coverage gap. It is absolutely critical."