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Northam says 30,000 enrolled in Medicaid during pandemic

(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam says almost 30,000 adults have enrolled in Virginia’s expanded Medicaid program since he declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Northam said May 20 that more than 420,000 Virginians have enrolled in Medicaid since the state voted to expand it two years ago.

Medicaid is a publicly funded health care program whose costs are shared by the federal and state governments. Expanding Medicaid to low-income, able-bodied adults was a key part of former President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul and is one of Northam’s top legislative achievements.

Northam said that thousands of adults enrolled in Medicaid have received treatment for underlying conditions that have proved fatal during the pandemic, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

The governor also announced he had vetoed legislation passed with broad support earlier this year that would have allowed associations to provide health insurance to self-employed members. Northam said the bills would have increased insurance costs for sicker Virginians.

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