It’s a major win for the Ralph Northam administration. Some Republican senators crossed party lines to pass the legislation:
As Vox noted on Wednesday, the Virginia House had passed a version of expansion, but will vote again on the Senate’s version. The bill is expected to pass.
Those on the left, however, should note one important caveat. From Politico:
The Wednesday vote on a budget that included Medicaid expansion took place after two key Republicans in the House and Senate agreed on a plan that includes a work requirement and mandates that enrollees above the federal poverty line must pay more out of pocket for care. The proposal, which was approved on a 23-17 vote, relies on provider taxes to cover Virginia’s expansion costs.
So today’s vote is a victory with costs. Thousands of low-income Virginia now confront fewer obstacles to health care, but they’ll still have to clear a work requirement hurdle.