On May 30, 2018, both houses of the Virginia state legislature voted to expand Medicaid after over 4 years of failed attempts. Governor Ralph Northam, a physician who campaigned in favor of Medicaid expansion in last year’s elections, is predicted to sign the bill. The move will expand Medicaid eligibility to an additional 400,000 low-income adults and is expected to go into effect January 1, 2019. The state’s required 10% portion of funding the expansion will be raised through additional taxes on Virginia’s hospitals.
Currently, Virginia has a restrictive Medicaid program covering predominantly children and disabled adults. Childless adults are not eligible and working parents cannot earn more than 30% of the federal poverty level. With this bill, Virginia will become the 33rd state to approve an expansion under the ACA, and one of the largest states by population to expand the program.
Several other states have expansion efforts in the works, including Idaho, Utah (the measure was qualified for the ballot on May 29th) and Nebraska, although the likelihood of success in those states is uncertain.
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