Indiana Governor Mike Pence wrote a letter recently to Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), applauding Speaker Howell’s efforts to resist Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and supporting the House position that Medicaid expansion should be considered separately from the state budget.
“I applaud your leadership, and the efforts of Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates, to resist traditional Medicaid expansion in Virginia. I believe your stand will protect Virginia taxpayers and healthcare consumers from the long-term pitfalls of expanding this deeply flawed entitlement program,” writes Governor Pence. “I am in complete agreement with you that any reforms made to Virginia’s Medicaid program should be done as standalone legislation that can be studied carefully, debated and considered on its merits.”
Speaking about the letter, Speaker Howell said:
“Governor Pence is absolutely correct that the debate over Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion must be separated from the budget and considered as standalone legislation.
“Holding the state budget hostage and threatening a state government shutdown over a public policy decision of this magnitude is not only wrong, it is reckless and irresponsible. The Governor and Democrat-controlled Senate are creating tremendous uncertainty for local governments, harming Virginia’s economy and threatening the state’s AAA bond rating.
“Separating Medicaid expansion from the budget is the quickest and easiest way to end the current state budget crisis. Governor Pence joins over 100 local governments, school boards, business groups and local elected officials from across the Commonwealth who support this position.”