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Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman at the Washington Post said in this column that Sandy’s right about Medicaid expansion.  (Yes that issue that Human Rights Watch thinks is a civil/human right, that one.)  Well they didn’t exactly say it like that (I wish they did – I’d even take a footnote!)

Yes I am bragging a bit.  May the Lord not be too hard on me.   Here’s the post!  Here is a highlight or two for the record:

Now 42 USC Section 1396(y)(1) is the Medicaid expansion in the Obamacare bill.  Now this budget language seems to say that if the Reform Commission approves certain conditions that the Medicaid expansion will be approved.

But here is the Leahy/Goldman analysis (emphasis mine):

On Feb. 22, 2013, Cuccinelli wrote an official legal opinion in response to a request from Del. Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) regarding a hypothetical compromise on Medicaid needed to get the Republican-controlled state legislature to back GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation tax hike. Under the proposed deal, the General Assembly would create the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC).  MIRC – and not the governor — would then have the power to decide whether to expand Medicaid. According to Cline, MIRC membership might range from three to six lawmakers from each legislative house.

But then Attorney General Cuccinelli said no to this delegation of legislative powers.  Twice.  He told both Del. Cline and Del. Bob Marshall the same thing.  So Governor McAuliffe cannot unilaterally expand Medicaid.  But will the two sides play chicken until July 1?  It seems very likely.  The House GOP will not blink – they get primaried if they do.  Governor McAuliffe cannot blink or he’ll lose face and political capital and get nothing to show for it.

Now if the polls show the Senate Dems will lose power if they refuse to go along with the reasonable compromise the House GOP offered:  Pass a clear budget and then have a special session to vote on Medicaid expansion, then yes McAuliffe will blink.  And they have an Achilles’s heel:  Senators like Phil Puckett or maybe Charles Colgan.  They might not go along.  Others might join them if they think they might lose their seat.

I guess we’ll see.  I did speak with a liberal in Richmond and he said he was mad at both sides and after I explained the situation, he was more mad at McAuliffe.  This liberal probably voted for Obama twice and McAuliffe (I tried to persuade him to vote Sarvis but probbaly in vain) last fall.  If that is a prevalent attitude among liberals, McAuliffe will be back peddling quick.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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