Lawmakers hustled Monday to resolve policy disputes holding up an agreement on a sweeping spending bill needed to keep the government funded beyond Friday, but negotiations stretched into early Tuesday morning.
Disagreements over health-care policy, immigration and funding for a New York rail tunnel project persisted as Democrats, Republicans and the White House negotiated the measure that would keep the government open until October and prevent a partial shutdown when its current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
. . .
We said Republicans would pay dearly for failing to replace ObamaCare, and the bill is already coming due this week in a political extortion fight with health insurers. The GOP may pad the omnibus spending bill with enough cash to preserve the law through the 2020 election.
Congress is debating how to handle cost-sharing reductions, which are payments to insurers for defraying out-of-pocket costs or deductibles for low-income individuals. The Trump Administration stopped these payments last year. Congress had declined to appropriate the money, and a federal judge said the Obama Administration wrote the checks illegally.
. . .
As the debate continues in Virginia over whether to expand Medicaid, it is crucial to look at what the outcome has been for other states that have already expanded their programs. Thirty-one states have taken this step under the provisions laid out in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility to able-bodied adults below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and covered 100 percent of the cost of the expansion enrollees for the initial period. That percentage declines, and by the year 2020 the federal government will only cover 90 percent of the cost of expansion enrollees. With funding after that unclear, residents of Virginia will face an unknown future of Medicaid. Given the facts staring back at us, why would any Virginian support expanded coverage?
. . .