Virginia Gov. Terry McAluliffe has ordered a special legislative session late this month to finalize both a state budget and an expansion of the state's Medicaid program. And while McAuliffe made his preferences clear in a Saturday letter to legislators, there is not a complete consensus among the area's legislators about both issues.
Dels. Dickie Bell and Steve Landes say a state budget must agreed on when the special session convenes on March 24. They suggest separating the Medicaid expansion question and dealing with it in a separate session. Sen. Emmett Hanger thinks both issues are linked, and said he thinks enough Virginia House of Delegates members can be made to accept the proposed Marketplace Virginia plan for accepting federal Medicaid money. Under the proposal, the state would accept the $2 billion in annual Medicaid expansion money and allow the new state recipients to purchase private insurance from companies already identified.