Gov. Northam Approves State Budget, Expands Medicaid

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Governor Ralph Northam [file] Governor Ralph Northam [file]

Governor Ralph Northam approved the state budget on Thursday, June 7, which will expand Medicaid to thousands of Virginians.

Senator Tim Kaine says it’s a historic vote from the General Assembly, and it will make a difference across the state. The vote ended a long-running partisan stalemate over the issue, with several Republicans joining Democrats to support the measure.

"When you think what it's like to not have healthcare coverage or worried about, you know, what's gonna happen if I get sick or if my wife's in an accident, having that coverage protects you in those circumstances," says Kaine.

A tally from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows Virginia will become the 33rd state to approve Medicaid expansion. Expanding Medicaid was a key provision of the Affordable Care Act pushed by former President Barack Obama.

Kaine applauded both parties in the General Assembly for coming together to vote on the expansion.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.