Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group, has launched a new radio ad in Virginia that urges state lawmakers to fight Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — a high-stakes issue that’s been tied to the budget and raises the specter of a government shutdown in Richmond by mid-year.
Mr. McAuliffe, a Democrat, made the expansion a signature part of his campaign last year, but Republicans in the state House of Delegates are resisting.
The new ad ties the Medicaid expansion to President Obama’s health care law overall, which has suffered in the polls after Americans lost existing coverage that did not meet the law’s requirements. The wobbly launch of web portals that were supposed to let consumers shop for private plans did not help, either.
“Lets face it: Medicaid expansion is ObamaCare, and it’s threatening the quality of health care for millions of Americans,” the AFP ad says.
The health care law calls for states to extend Medicaid to people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, but the Supreme Court made the expansion optional for individual states.
Roughly half the states have opted to expand the health entitlement for low-income residents
Pro-expansion advocates in Richmond say the expansion is a good deal that will help roughly 400,000 Virginians gain health coverage. That’s because federal government will pay for 100 percent of the expanded population through 2016, before scaling back its contribution to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.
Opponents, meanwhile, say their state share is stretching budget to the maximum and that the federal government can’t be trusted to live up to their end of the deal.