Governor waits to implement healthcare policies

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jul 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-12 06:38:37-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- As the healthcare battle continues in Washington, D.C., Richmond resident David Jones is left waiting in limbo.

Jones has been denied Medicaid three times. He has another hearing set to try and get coverage in October.

"It's been extremely tough. This has been a real ordeal for me," Jones said.

Jones told CBS 6 he hoped the state expands its Medicaid program, making it easier for him to get the care he needs.

"I've had four surgeries in the last two years and I'm expecting two more," said Jones.

Whether or not Jones and 400,000 Virginians get Medicaid depends on you.

That's because Governor Bob McDonnell said he isn't making significant moves until he sees the outcome of the November election.

If Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins in November, he said he planned to repeal the federal healthcare law.

"We could be making decisions that could be erased by the outcome of November," said the Governor's spokesperson Tucker Martin.

Additionally, Martin said Governor McDonnell still has dozens of questions for the president and doesn't plan on calling for a special session with state lawmakers until he gets more clarity.

"Tax payers send their money to Richmond and they expect their money to be used wisely. They don't want to see it used on special session for programs that may not be needed," Martin said.

"He's put all his chips into Romney's pot. If Romney doesn't win, what's he going to do next year," said political strategist Paul Goldman.  Goldman said the governor is looking for excuses to continue delaying the state's healthcare reform.

In the end, Goldman said, the Governor's political game of wait and see will end up costing you. 

"With UVA, he had to wait. Now, with this, he's waiting. It doesn't get any better. It gets more costly. That's what tends to happen when you put off these kinds of decisions. You get the worst of both worlds," Goldman said.

McDonnell isn't alone in his decision to hold off on implementing certain portions of the federal healthcare law. Several other republican governors are doing the same thing.