VA- McAuliffe emphasizes health care with pitch for Medicaid buy-in plan

MM Curator summary


A candidate for Governor in VA is using a Medicaid Public Option as part of his election campaign.


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RICHMOND — Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to offer another health insurance option to Virginians who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs of coverage they can buy now in the marketplace.

McAuliffe pitched his Medicaid “buy-in” plan at appearances in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg on Tuesday as part of an opening policy salvo in his race for another term as Virginia governor against Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, who has criticized the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

McAuliffe proposes to offer a Medicaid insurance option for people to buy on the new state marketplace if they earn more than $17,775 a year individually or $30,305 for a family of three so they wouldn’t be eligible for Medicaid. He did not specify how much they could earn and still qualify to purchase the optional plan.

The former governor was unable to overcome Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion during his term, but the General Assembly took the step the year after he left office under a bipartisan deal that took effect Jan. 1, 2019, and now provides health insurance coverage for more than 555,000 Virginians.

“Terry was a brick wall against extreme Republican attacks on health care during his administration, and he will be ready on day one to fight for affordable health care as Virginia’s next governor,” his campaign stated in a news release that played off a vow by former House Speaker Bill Howell to wield his Republican majority in the House as “a firewall” against Medicaid expansion.


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