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House leaders propose financial audit of Medicaid

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Republican leaders in the House of Delegates are calling for a financial audit of Virginia’s Medicaid program.

A group of Republican leaders is introducing a resolution that requires an operational and financial review of Virginia’s Medicaid program. The resolution would instruct the Joint Legislative Review and Commission to review various parts of the Medicaid program and contract with an outside auditor to conduct a financial audit.

The resolution is being introduced by House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, Appropriations Committee Chairman Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman R. Steven Landes, R-Augusta, and other members of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC).

“Medicaid is fraught with fraud and abuse,” Howell said in a statement. “Under no circumstances can you justify expanding a program growing at such an unsustainable level and filled with this much waste, fraud and abuse.”

Monday’s announcement is the latest battle in the war over Medicaid expansion. Last week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe proposed a budget amendment that would give him the final say on whether to expand Medicaid in Virginia if MIRC failed to reach a decision by the end of this year’s session.

The commission is currently considering whether Virginia should expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, Virginia’s Medicaid program would be expanded to cover Virginia residents who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — or an annual income of $15,415 for an individual.

Under expansion, the federal government would cover 100 percent of the expansion’s cost through 2017, and then gradually reducing its share to 90 percent.

Republicans in the House have been adamantly opposed to expansion, while McAuliffe made it a major part of his campaign.

Related: http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/finding-a-prescription-for-medicaid


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