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McAuliffe asks business groups for Medicaid help

Wednesday - 1/29/2014, 4:48pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking members of Virginia's business community for help convincing Republican lawmakers to expand eligibility for Medicaid.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Richmond Wednesday, McAuliffe said the state's business community would be hurt if the state did not accept federal funds tied to Medicaid expansion.

McAuliffe said businesses currently have to pay extra health insurance premiums to cover health treatment for the uninsured.

The new Democratic governor has made expanding the Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 Virginians a top priority.

But Republican lawmakers have said the publicly funded health insurance program for the poor needs to be reformed before it can be expanded.

Republican House leadership said they don't think the General Assembly will approve an expansion this year.

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