In Byron's view, the House plan for Virginia to fully implement Obamacare by expanding Medicaid eligibility would be fiscally irresponsible, and "because I take the General Assembly's responsibility to enact a budget very seriously, I wanted to vote for a fiscally responsible budget".
Not even close to agreeing, Senate Republicans bucked their House counterparts and drafted a budget that does include expansion of some health care services but not Medicaid, saying the federal program was not created to cover the "able-bodied" and that the state can't afford its share of the expansion cost.
"We've already dealt with all that we can", Jones said.More news: 'Feminist strike': International Women's Day sees transport & work chaos in Spain
Northam said he will continue to work with lawmakers to get a budget passed that "includes expanded health access as soon as possible". As for the House, he said, "it's turning into a comedy".
Jones dismissed questions about a potential state government shutdown as premature, with the current budget in effect until June 30 and new two-year cycle beginning on July 1.
Gov. Ralph Northam discussed the budget breakdown with Jones and House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, earlier on Thursday, said spokesman Brian Coy, who declined to comment on those discussions or the governor's position on how to proceed.
Then, the Senate had proposed Marketplace Virginia as a private insurance approach to using federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians. After years of near-uniform opposition, Republicans are now split on the issue with the GOP-led House supporting Medicaid expansion while the GOP-led Senate opposes it.More news: Prince Harry and Meghan's incredible gesture for budding young actress
Not all Republicans in the House supported the Medicaid expansion.
Jones said Thursday that he will instead allow Dunnavant's bill to die without action in the House, which must complete action on all bills by midnight under the procedural resolution for the assembly session that began January 10.
"I'm optimistic that they'll find a solution", said John O.More news: Cristiano Ronaldo Brace Sees Real Madrid Past Eibar in La Liga
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