- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration says the state would save money instead of spending it by implementing the new federal health care law.

The administration told lawmakers Wednesday that a 2012 estimate, which predicted the cost of the implementing the new law through 2022 would be $137 million, was now incorrect.

The new figures have the state saving $1 billion during the same period.

State officials said they had better data to predict costs than they did last year.

McAuliffe has made expanding Medicaid eligibility, a key component of the health care law, a top priority of his new administration.

Republicans in the GOP-controlled House have balked at the idea, saying the program needs reform before expanding. A top Republican said the new numbers don’t change that position.

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