Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) and Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) issued the following statement Monday on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s visit to Inova Loudoun Hospital.
“There are only 13 days left in this session, yet rather than stay in Richmond and work on the budget with the General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe has decided to copy President Barack Obama's plan for fighting a losing battle on ObamaCare: get out of the Capitol and resume campaigning. Rather than sit down with Delegates and Senators to work on the areas of the budget where we agree, the Governor has decided to embark on a political grandstanding tour to one of Virginia’s most financially healthy hospital systems.
“Inova Health System reported more than $200 million in net revenues and held nearly $3 billion in assets in 2012, while paying their CEO more than $1.5 million. Now, this same hospital system is asking Virginia taxpayers to take a huge financial gamble on Medicaid expansion in order to offset cuts coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act – legislation that American Hospital Association wholeheartedly endorsed.
“Virginia is required to have a balanced budget and we are set to adjourn on March 8. Until Democrat-led Senate of Virginia inserted Medicaid expansion into the state budget debate, House Republicans and Senate Democrats were not far apart on the state budget. The two proposals are only separated by $40 million and without Medicaid expansion, we would complete our work on time. But while House negotiators wait to begin discussions, Governor McAuliffe has left town and seems intent on keeping the campaign pledge he made last summer to not sign a budget that does not include Medicaid Expansion.
“Virginia should not expand ObamaCare to fix the problems caused by ObamaCare. Rushing the debate on Medicaid Expansion like Congress rushed passage of ObamaCare on Christmas Eve would be a mistake. And holding hostage hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for teachers, law enforcement and higher education in order to do so is wrong.
“Virginia should continue the process that both parties in both Houses agreed to last year. Let the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission handle the issue of Medicaid expansion and let the General Assembly pass a clean budget bill.”