RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s Medicaid program will need an additional $281 million in the current two-year budget.
The cost projection was disclosed to legislative budget leaders on Tuesday, two months after Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed a $1.48 billion revenue shortfall.
The McAuliffe administration says the forecast is driven primarily by higher costs for services to the elderly and disabled.
Republican leaders, who have blocked Medicaid expansion for years, say the projection is evidence that the state needs to reform Medicaid.
House Speaker William J. Howell, a Republican from Stafford, says the forecast reinforces the GOP’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Gov. McAuliffe says he will work with the General Assembly to ensure the increase in the Medicaid forecast is reflected in the budget.