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Medicaid work requirement

Gov. Northam announced that his administration has suspended negotiations with the federal government on the Medicaid work requirement, citing that “it is unlikely Virginia will move forward with funding a program that could cause tens of thousands of Virginians to lose health care coverage.” The work requirement was agreed upon in good faith and it appears the governor is now backing off his agreement.

When Republicans reached across the aisle to pass Medicaid Expansion, we did so with the good faith expectation that Gov. Northam would follow through and work to obtain a waiver from the federal government to implement the work requirement.

Gov. Northam announced recently that he was suspending negotiations with the federal government, broadly hinting that he was running out the clock until Democrats take control and can formally rescind the requirement.

Speaker Cox and the governor made personal commitments to each other. Republicans who voted for this measure did so with the assurance that this was to be long-term public policy.

It is now clear that the governor’s negotiations over the cost of implementation were nothing but a stalling tactic, hoping for Democratic control of the General Assembly.

The federal government granted Kentucky a work requirement for its Medicaid population and issued lengthy guidance to other states, opening the door for Virginia to pursue a work requirement of its own.

Our legislative language mirrored Kentucky’s proposal as approved by the federal government.  The work requirement as agreed upon would not apply to children under 18 or in college, the elderly, or the disabled.

In counties across Virginia, residents are already sending a strong message to Richmond that they are deeply concerned with proposed and potential Democratic efforts to restrict their Second Amendment rights. As of this writing a total of 45 localities have passed resolutions.

Counties with passed resolutions include: Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Augusta, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Craig, Culpeper County, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Town of Exmore, Giles, Gloucester, Goochland, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, King George, King William, Lee, Louisa, Madison, Middlesex, Norton, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Rappahannock, Roanoke County, Rural Retreat, Russell, Scott, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, Tazewell County, Washington and Wythe.

The movement was started by Campbell County Supervisor Charlie Watts, and since then in the 59th District, Campbell County and Appomattox County passed resolutions. This resolution is on the agenda for meetings in Buckingham County and Nelson County as well. It has been discussed in Albemarle County but there are no plans to add it to the agenda.

Del. C. Matthew Fariss represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.