Guv talks tough to Sebelius on expanded Medicaid

Tuesday - 3/5/2013, 7:08pm EST

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Under fire from the conservatives in his own Republican Party, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent the Obama administration a letter ruling out Medicaid expansion in the 10 months left in McDonnell's term.

McDonnell lectures U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the expansion of the federal-state health program for the poor, elderly and disabled is his prerogative, not that of a commission.

McDonnell agreed just before the legislature adjourned to let a commission assess whether daunting reforms necessary to expand Medicaid had been met. Without it, Senate Democrats would have doomed his signature transportation funding legislation.

Governor's spokesman Tucker Martin said the letter was to clarify what McDonnell feels has been widely misreported as an imminent Medicaid expansion to 400,000 Virginians.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.