Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia signed a new state budget into law on Thursday that includes a provision to expand Medicaid.
The expansion will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019 and is expected to provide insurance to as many as 400,000 low-income individuals. With the signing, Virginia has become the 33rd state to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, a key provision pressed by former President Barack Obama. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states’ expansion was optional. (RELATED: A Single Republican Paves Way For Virginia Medicaid Expansion)
For years, Virginia Republicans rebuffed attempts to expand Medicaid, contending that the program would be too expensive, according to U.S. News and World Report. But the new budget passed last week as several Republicans joined the Democrats.
As part of a compromise to get the Republicans on board, the Medicaid expansion provision includes a work requirement for recipients, reports The Hill.
Northam signed the legislation on the steps of the state’s capitol building where he praised the bipartisan compromise.
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