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VIDEO: Sen. Mark Warner Urges General Assembly to Pass Medicaid Expansion at Campaign Kick-Off

The Republican-dominated House of Delegates recessed Tuesday night after passing a version of a two-year budget without Medicaid expansion.

Sen. Mark Warner talks Sunday about Medicaid expansion in Virginia at his campaign kick-off in Alexandria. Screen shot from YouTube video
Sen. Mark Warner talks Sunday about Medicaid expansion in Virginia at his campaign kick-off in Alexandria. Screen shot from YouTube video
The Virginia General Assembly needs to pass Medicaid expansion, Sen. Mark Warner told a crowd of more than 400 at the opening of his campaign headquarters Sunday in Alexandria. The campaign headquarters is at 2034 Eisenhower Ave.

The Republican-dominated House of Delegates recessed Tuesday night after passing a version of a two-year budget without Medicaid expansion and defeating an attempt by Democrats to advance Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s budget, which carries a two-year expansion pilot program, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The House action sets up a renewed fight over the potential expansion of health care to thousands of uninsured Virginians, as localities that are trying to prepare their own budgets await word on state appropriations, the newspaper article points out.

Warner spoke Sunday about the state of the race and his long record of working across party lines to find commonsense solutions. The following is a transcript of his remarks on Medicaid at Sunday's opening of his campaign office:

"Now, clearly, in Virginia we need to do this in our own way. This is a chance for us to reform and make the Medicaid program Virginia-centric and a better model. And I know these folks will work with folks on both sides of the aisle to get that right.

"But this is not only the morally right thing to do, and not only is this the economically right thing to do in terms of our tax dollars going to other states, but the honest to goodness thing is that even if these folks don’t get coverage, they still show up in the emergency room and the cost is passed on and we pay for it as well — all of us with private health insurance.

"And increasingly you’re going to see wide swaths of Virginia where there are more rural hospitals literally going out of business because they don’t have the kind of resources that are in the law to meet the focused needs across the Commonwealth."

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