A peek into changes of heart on Virginia’s Medicaid expansion

There’s something about an early morning meeting on less than the usual morning coffee that brings a unique perspective.

The Christopher Newport University Wason Center insiders’ breakfast Thursday was a chance to take a peek at the motivations that made this year’s Medicaid expansion budget compromise possible.

The first hint came from state Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg, and his thought that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing to nail down a budget in May rather than in March.

Turns out, reports of state tax collections in the interim showed revenues were running well ahead of what anyone had forecast, he said. That made it easier for legislators to see a way forward on a major priority: pumping up cash reserves.

“I had that unfortunate midlife crisis and ran for governor,” Wagner reminisced at the Wason Center breakfast, referring to the 2017 GOP primary when he finished third of three candidates, with 14 percent of the vote.

“I’m over it.”

Ress can be reached by telephone at 757-247-4535

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