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Virginia Medicaid Cost Overruns

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is facing a huge bill for unexpected Medicaid costs that hamper proposed new spending on schools or giving tax breaks for the poor.

State officials said Friday that Virginia has about $460 million in unforeseen Medicaid costs.

The news was first reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne said much of the new costs come from faulty forecasts overestimating the benefits of a using private health insurers to cover a greater number of Medicaid recipients.

The price of covering the new costs could limit lawmakers' ability to put spending in other areas: like improving some of the state's crumbling public schools.

The new unexpected costs are not due to Virginia's recent decision to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.