Gov. McAuliffe mulls bypassing the legislature on Medicaid expansion

posted at 10:41 am on May 2, 2014 by Gabriel Malor

Henceforth, this tactic shall be called “pulling an Obama.” At the beginning of the year, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe claimed victory on the issue of expanding Medicaid eligibility, despite that program’s exploding costs. Now, months into a budget impasse with the state legislature, McAuliffe is reportedly looking for ways to sign on to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion without authorization from the state legislature.

McAuliffe and his top advisers have consulted lawyers, health-care experts and legislators on how to bypass the GOP-dominated House of Delegates, according to three people familiar with the discussions. A fourth, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal private strategy, said the office of Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) has been researching the matter.

The move would allow Virginia to take advantage of a key state option under the Affordable Care Act, and it could help break a budget stalemate and avert a looming government shutdown.

That seems wildly optimistic, doesn’t it? McAuliffe declaring open war on the legislature does not seem likely to me to break any stalemates. A constitutionally-suspect power-grab seems more likely to do just the opposite, enraging legislators and firming up opposition. Then come the lawsuits, which could linger for years. Notably, McAuliffe was only in office for four months before throwing up his hands and deciding he needed to find ways around the legislature.

Bypassing lawmakers is a key part of the Obama playbook, but McAuliffe should think twice before trying it in Virginia. He lacks Obama’s personal likability, although even that is waning over time, and he can’t hide behind the claim that Medicaid expansion is particularly popular, since Virginians have soured on it. Moreover, he can’t credibly claim that expansion is a health priority since a growing number of studies show the program doesn’t improve health outcomes.

McAuliffe faces a July 1 deadline to resolve his standoff with the House of Delegates before there’s a government shutdown.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

He’s got a pen and phone, and is not afraid to use them!

A constitutionally-suspect power-grab seems more likely to do just the opposite, enraging legislators and firming up opposition.

Well, it depends on how spineless the VA legislature is. They may easily roll over the same way Congress and the Judiciary has rolled over for the executive branch. An enraged opposition can do little if their representatives don’t act.

Doomberg on May 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

So, all the liquor in Richmond couldn’t buy McAuliffe his Medicaid expansion?

blammm on May 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Nothing a few truckloads of federal money won’t solve.

Rix on May 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Doomberg on May 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Exactly.

If the Brony Master can get away with it, why not a Democratic Governor? It’s the thing! All the rage on the authoritarian left aka the Democrats.

Chuck Ef on May 2, 2014 at 10:59 AM

You got the governor you deserve, my fellow Virginians.

makattak on May 2, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I’m a refugee of many decades living in Virginia having escaped Pa. Next stop…..Texas. After that…..animal farm.

cthemfly on May 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

“I won. I have a mandate.”

-Obama McAuliffe

portlandon on May 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Bypassing lawmakers is a key part of the Obama playbook

It’s a key part of the playbook of every fascist ever born.

But hey, when it comes to social justice there is no room for legality and that’s the way it should be.

Bishop on May 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

You elected this bum Virginia . . . now live with him.

rplat on May 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Bypassing lawmakers is a key part of the Obama playbook, but McAuliffe should think twice before trying it in Virginia. He lacks Obama’s personal likability, although even that is waning over time, and he can’t hide behind the claim that Medicaid expansion is particularly popular, since Virginians have soured on it. Moreover, he can’t credibly claim that expansion is a health priority since a growing number of studies show the program doesn’t improve health outcomes

…he knows JugEars personal likability numbers are bogus and he knows the media will cover for him…so he does not have to ‘think twice’!

KOOLAID2 on May 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Well if that’s the case my state can just not enforce Obamacare period..it’s ironic that Obama likes to bypass congress while basically giving a playbook on how to kill Obamacare. The lack of long term thinking shocks me…

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Moreover, he can’t credibly claim that expansion is a health priority since a growing number of studies show the program doesn’t improve health outcomes.

So what?
Jay Carney can’t credibly claim that the Rhodes email wasn’t about Benghazi, but he did it nonetheless.

Media refuses to call politicians liars for fear of being seen as taking a side. Instead they allow blatant lies to go unchecked.

You think he cares that he doesn’t have a credible claim? News flash, he doesn’t. No Dem does.

airupthere on May 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Virginians voted for this guy. The state has passed it’s tipping point. The state’s politics are now determined by the whims of NoVA along w/ Richmond & the Tidewater area. In other words we’re just like every other blue state run by wealthy elites, upper middle class bureacrats, and blacks.

SAMinVA on May 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Hard to weep for Va. Once the great capitol of the South, no more.

Bmore on May 2, 2014 at 11:11 AM

I live in VA and definitely DO NOT want to be on the hook for the bottomless pit that expanded medicare spending will become once the Fed steps back from 100% funding. So much for McAuliffe calling everyone in for a few beers or cocktails to resolve issues.

This is what happens when a transplanted New Yorker comes down and buys an election.

olesparkie on May 2, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Red vs Blue states obviously Red States are winning Blue states not so much….

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I’m intrigued by the prospect of a state shutdown in July. Will McAuliffe blockade the Shenandoah?

de rigueur on May 2, 2014 at 11:13 AM

State troopers surrounding Sailor’s Creek?

de rigueur on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

A war between the legislative branch and executive branch has been a long time coming.

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

John Kasich led the way on this.

MTF on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

John Kasich led the way on this.
MTF on May 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM
He is a fool indeed Ohio can’t afford it but never mind he expanded it anyway.

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

As Virginia sinks into the morass, Texas will be here for business and conservatives….
Anyone that voted for McAuliffe is banned from Texas.

redguy on May 2, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Heh. Can he be recalled? If so, Cucenelli should run again under “I told you so”

AH_C on May 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Red vs Blue states obviously Red States are winning Blue states not so much….

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I think the strategy will be for the blue states to basically become federalized and then the feds with those states will wage war on the red states…..

However, when push comes to shove…..the feds will be impotent unless they want to start a real war.

Red states must start ignoring federal edicts, especially from the EPA.

We consider them null & void.

redguy on May 2, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Heh. Can he be recalled? If so, Cucenelli should run again under “I told you so”

AH_C on May 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Virginia is a perfect example where federal corruption trumps all logic.

redguy on May 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Bypassing lawmakers is a key part of the Obama playbook, but McAuliffe should think twice before trying it in Virginia.

McAuliffe may talk a big game but he doesn’t have the leverage he is implying that he has. And my fellow Virginians would go nuts if he pulls this right after the AG (who won by 100 votes) has pushed through recognizing sodomites as “married” and giving a bunch of worthless parasites known as DREAMERs in-state tuition for no other reason than they are here illegally.

I think this was a strawman to see what the reaction would be.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Most southern states are open to conservatives :) just so long as you don’t mind some violent weather now and then and down home southern cooking :) also screw these activist Fed Judges…

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM

BTW- the only reason why Virginia’s legislature is at a budget impasse is because McAuliffe and his filthy party won’t pass a clean budget bill. They insist on including Medicaid expansion instead of considering it as a seperate piece of legislation.

Happy Nomad on May 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

They can’t f$&@# afford the expansion…why do they most states opted out?

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

If Boehner wants to get to the bottom of Benghazi, maybe he ought to dangle a carrot. The house will do no work on immigration until full cooperation is received on Benghazi.

I know neither Boehner or the White House wants this stipulation out there. But at least it will give Obama a legislative reward for finally demolishing his failed presidency.

h a p f a t on May 2, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Ironic Obama demolished his own legacy.

sorrowen on May 2, 2014 at 11:50 AM

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.

But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.

He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.

A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague. –Cicero

opunmind on May 2, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The photo depicts the leftist puerile hacks perfectly.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2014 at 12:02 PM

“bypassing the legislature”

In the immortal words of Irving Berlin, “Ev’rybod’s doin’ it, doin’ it”.

formwiz on May 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

McAwful acting like mini-Obama, how surprising. Not. So disappointed in the voters in our state for electing this guy. And HotAir needs like buttons on the comments.

nachomama on May 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM

McAuliffe is reportedly looking for ways to sign on to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion without authorization from the state legislature.

.
Impeachment is our only constitutional path; the constitution does not provide for recall of elected officers. The HR 98 bill of 2010 providing for recall of officers stalled in committee.

ExpressoBold on May 2, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Given the outcomes, expansion of Medicaid = throwing good money after bad.

lineholder on May 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

There is no “recall” process in Virginia.

But if McAuliffe wants to shut down the government, Republicans should declare there will be NO BACK PAY for days not worked and employees will have to use vacation time or get nothing.

McAuliffe probably won 70% of the state employees. If they revolt, “recall” might be the last of his worries. He might have to high-tail it out of town.

Adjoran on May 2, 2014 at 1:53 PM

On the bright side, going by his history, if they offer McAuliffe $10 million in cash, he’ll just go away.

Adjoran on May 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I just contacted my delegate and state senator and let them know in no uncertain terms that if McAuliffe pulls this crap, there had better be an open declaration of war from the House of Delegates. Not all of us in VA voted for this Marxist tool, and I for one don’t believe we “deserve” him.
Mr. Jefferson is surely spinning in his grave…

fresh air on May 2, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Do they have recall laws there? He will be recalled if he does an Obama.

Amazingoly on May 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

OB,made himself king of the USA. now virginia, Gov. wants to be KING. What the hell is happening to America?????????????????????

woody66 on May 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Virginians voted for this guy. The state has passed it’s tipping point. The state’s politics are now determined by the whims of NoVA along w/ Richmond & the Tidewater area. In other words we’re just like every other blue state run by wealthy elites, upper middle class bureacrats, and blacks.

SAMinVA on May 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Don’t forget Charlottesville.

Oldnuke on May 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

No worries mate. The Clintoons are his pals.

bofh on May 2, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Go ahead, Terry, make our day. I can’t think of a better way to really piss off VA.

BetseyRoss on May 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM

I’m not so sure Virginians voted for him.

IIRC, he was behind until a few late precincts swung things for him. I’d love to see how many voters are from Maryland (a known issue) or the local cemetery (also a known issue . . . at least in Chicago).

Frankly, if there had been a stronger Republican candidate, he wouldn’t be there at all.

EdmundBurke247 on May 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Liberal states (or parts of states) elect criminals to office liberally and then complain about it …uh…liberally. I am from VA and I did not vote for this greasy bum. It’s the damned Yankees taking over the state that voted him in. VA is pretty much toast from here on out.

Sherman1864 on May 3, 2014 at 2:39 AM