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Senate expedites a conditional Medicaid expansion

Thursday - 2/7/2013, 7:02pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. - Senate Democrats and most Republicans have united to approve an expedited roadmap for expanding Medicaid in Virginia provided the federal government allows numerous cost-containment reforms.

But in the House, a similar appeal to fast-track broadening the federal-state health care program to cover up to 400,000 more Virginians just over the poverty level floundered as competing versions of the state budget advanced toward negotiations that will start next week.

The Senate bill establishes a new reserve fund to capture millions of dollars in expected savings to the state in the first five years of expansion under the Affordable Care Act with the feds paying all or most of the costs.

It also conditions expansion on allowing the state to enact cost-containment and efficiency reforms.

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