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How Ralph Northam struck a deal with Republicans

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VIRGINIA’S new governor, Ralph Northam, did in five months what his predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, couldn’t manage in four years. He convinced a usually obdurate Republican legislature to bring this blue-trending state fully under the Affordable Care Act—even as the Trump administration continues efforts to kill it.

On June 7th Mr Northam signed into law a new state budget. Its defining feature is more than $2.5bn in federal funds to bring more than 300,000 uninsured Virginians under Medicaid, a national health-care programme for the poor and disabled. Medicaid expansion is an option through the ACA, also known as Obamacare, for providing health care for those without.

Virginia became the 33rd state to expand Medicaid, not just because Mr Northam and fellow Democrats were united on a health-care fix but because Republicans, who now only barely control the state legislature, were divided. The Republican Party refused four times to consent to Medicaid expansion during Mr McAuliffe’s governorship, if only to bring Mr McAuliffe, an…Continue reading

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