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Virginia set to expand Medicaid, as Senate OKs proposal

General Assembly

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Senate has voted to expand Medicaid, ending years of partisan gridlock on whether to widen coverage under the health care program for poor people.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a state budget that would expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income adults.

A tally from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows Virginia will become the 33rd state to approve Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid was a key provision of the Affordable Care Act pushed by former President Barack Obama.

Virginia Democrats have pushed unsuccessfully for years to expand it. Several state Republicans dropped their opposition this year, saying Virginia would be better off with increased federal funding for the program.

The budget still needs final approval House and from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. That's expected to happen with little difficulty.


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