McAuliffe spokesman belittles reporter asking Medicaid questions


NO MORE QUESTIONS: A McAuliffe spokesman called one reporter’s questions on his Medicaid expansion savings figures “ridiculous” and “nit-picky.”

By Kathryn Watson |, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Reporters ask the tough questions and try to get answers.

Brian Coy, a spokesman for Terry McAuliffe, doesn’t appreciate that.

When Daily Press statehouse reporter Travis Fain raised questions about the governor’s figures on budget savings from Medicaid expansion, Coy said the governor shouldn’t have to itemize everything he talks about.

Coy called the reporter’s questions “nit-picky” and “ridiculous,” according to Thursday’s Daily Press story, “Gov. McAuliffe walks a fine line on Medicaid expansion in Virginia.”

Confronted with a report from the Department of Medical Assistance Services that nearly half of the $1 billion in Medicaid savings over eight years McAuliffe is touting will happen with or without expansion — because of changes from the Affordable Care Act — Coy said the figure McAuliffe has used is accurate.

The battle over Medicaid expansion has come to a stalemate among the governor’s office and General Assembly Democrats and Republicans in the House of Delegates. Republicans say they won’t pass a budget with Medicaid expansion, and Democrats say they won’t pass a budget without some form of expansion.

The General Assembly has until the official end of the legislative session — Saturday — to come up with a budget deal. House Republicans have asked to extend the session by 30 days to reach a deal.

McAuliffe on Thursday morning announced the bare-bones outline of a coordinated care system proposal for people who are both Medicaid and Medicare-eligible, which, he said, will save $100 million by 2016.

Coy did not immediately respond to’s request for comment.

Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for’s Virginia Bureau

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