Virginia Senate Set to Vote on Medicaid Expansion

May 29, 2018


Co-chairman of the Senate Finance committee, State Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, left, speaks prior to a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee as co -chaiman State Sen. Thomas Norment, R-James City County, right, and State Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier, center, listen.
Credit Steve Helber / AP


After years of holding out, Virginia is on the verge of passing Medicaid expansion and providing health insurance to 400,000 low-income Virginians. Despite last minute political maneuvering by Republicans opposed to the measure, things look set for a vote Wednesday morning.


Virginia’s Senate will begin by debating a budget that does not include expansion, but Republican Senator Emmett Hanger told colleagues Tuesday he’ll be submitting a separate proposal that does.


“And it will depend on perhaps some direction from the clerk in terms of how we need to proceed. But I’m prepared to offer a substitute which would be amendable,” said Hanger during a meeting of the Senate Finance committee.


A majority of committee members voted down Hanger’s budget proposal when they met Tuesday afternoon, but one Republican - Senator Frank Wagner - voted for it.

That gives it the votes it needs to pass the full Senate when Hanger proposes it on the floor. The Senate is scheduled to meet 9 Wednesday morning.


During the Senate Finance committee Tuesday, Republican Senator Tommy Norment unsuccessfully tried to block Hanger’s proposal from making it to the floor. Hanger, who is co-chair of the committee, quickly called the meeting to a close when he realized Norment’s intent.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.