RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's long-running debate over whether to expand Medicaid has new life after a Democratic wave in last year's election. Several successful candidates campaigned directly on the issue and advocates are hopeful that Virginia will join a majority of other states to pass expansion after years of opposition.
Republicans have softened their opposition to expansion after years of steadfast denial. GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox opened the door to a potential bargain with Gov. Ralph Northam last month by saying that House Republicans were "willing to begin a dialogue" on healthcare.
But there's still little clarity on whether Medicaid will be expanded and if so, in what form. The first real clues about Medicaid expansion's future could come when both chambers release their proposed state budget plans on Sunday.