White House makes case for Medicaid expansion in Virginia

WLNI-SRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Obama administration says Virginia would have better health and a higher standard of living if the state were to expand publicly funded health insurance for the poor. The White House Council of Economic Advisers released a report Thursday estimating that an additional 179,000 Virginians would have health insurance coverage and 16,000 fewer residents would experience symptoms of depression under Medicaid expansion. The report also said Virginia will miss out on $1.24 billion in federal funding in 2016 by not expanding Medicaid. Opposition against Medicaid expansion remains strong among in Virginia, where the GOP-controlled General Assembly has blocked repeated expansion efforts by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Expanding Medicaid is a key part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but the U.S. Supreme Court gave states the option of opting out.

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