The Senate was on course to pass an expansion of Medicaid, as the law allows, while the House of Delegates, in GOP hands, aimed to block it. In such a scenario, Democrats hoped that Republicans would be blamed for the resulting government shutdown. With Republicans in control of both chambers, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) must now veto the GOP budget in order to force a showdown over Medicaid.
The apparent quid pro quo has sent Democrats railing.
“It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting healthcare… They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” Del. Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) told the Washington Post. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”
McAuliffe campaigned on the promise of Medicaid expansion in 2013. Since his election, Republicans have attempted to stonewall his attempts to bring coverage to 400,000 unsinsured Virginians, prompting the governor to explore options for expanding Medicaid without the approval of the state legislature.
McAuliffe told the Washington Post that Puckett's anticipated resignation only adds "uncertainty" to his plan for expanding coverage.
“I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially those in Southwest Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap.”
source: huffingtonpost.com By Ryan Grim & Ashley Alman