Virginia legislators yesterday voted to approve a budget bill that would expand access to Medicaid coverage to as many as 400,000 low-income residents. Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bill in the coming days. It is expected to take effect Jan. 1. Virginia will join 32 states and the District of Columbia in expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. “The budget’s inclusion of a bipartisan compromise plan to draw down available federal funds to help hundreds of thousands of hard-working, uninsured Virginians gain health care coverage will promote public health improvements, job growth, economic vitality, and strengthen our health delivery system,” said Sean Connaughton, president and CEO of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.

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