The Roanoke Times has the scoop with an op-ed from Delegate Terry Kilgore (R – Gate City), arguably the dean of the southwest Virginia Republican contingent in the House of Delegates. From the op-ed:
The Kentucky program encourages applicants to invest in themselves by participating in job training, achieving a GED, or taking on-line courses for better health. The program also encourages “community engagement,” which is either to work 20 hours a week, work training, education, or community service. Several groups of people are excluded from the requirement, such as full-time students, foster care youth, disabled and dependent adults, the medically frail, and others. But on the whole, Kentuckians are encouraged to work and contribute to their communities. Requirements such as these have strong support among taxpayers nationally.
This option has real possibilities in Virginia.
While Kilgore is still insisting on reforms in exchange for expansion, politically this considerably complicates Speaker Kirk Cox’s life, as to date, Cox has admirably held the line in opposition to Medicaid expansion and held out the promise of real reform with the majority of the Republican caucus — a task that now receives a new twist.
With Kilgore now a yes vote, the tough news is that Speaker Cox will not have the votes to hold the line and will be forced to come to some sort of understanding with Governor Ralph Northam, who is advocating for a straight-up expansion without reforms.
Question is, with Democrats demanding nothing short of a Bernie-style “straightforward expansion” in the words of Governor Northam, or will Kilgore draw a line in the sand in exchange for Indiana and Kentucky-style reforms?
Either way, things just became very interesting.
UPDATE: Delegate Kilgore gave an very forthright interview on The John Fredericks Show this morning about where he stands and why. The red meat starts at about the 4:30 mark:
“We ought to support folks who are trying, folks who are out there working the two or three jobs, trying to make ends meet but can’t afford that insurance.
“If we don’t help with the ability to get insurance, then those folks are going to the hospital when they get really sick and then it costs the whole system a lot of money. But this is a way that we can give a hand up. This is a way that we get folks out working and providing for their families, and hopefully moving on up through the system and support themselves eventually. I think this is a way that we have that we can write legislation. As Republicans, we’ve got to quite being the party of “no,” John. We’ve got to be able to come up with practical solutions to these problems.
The entire interview can be listened to below: