Stick a fork in Medicaid expansion?

Remember this?

[McAuliffe] said he will go ahead with Medicaid expansion administratively -- a move that provoked an immediate vow of resistance from Republican leaders in the House of Delegates. The governor said he has directed Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel to come up with a plan by Sept. 1.

Well, it's now September - so the Governor must have Hazel's plan on his desk. And indeed, he plans to announce a big proposal for Medicaid expansion... when, exactly?

The Governor has hinted that he will find some way to use the power of his office to ram through expansion of some kind. But it's hard to see what he can without some kind of approval, or at least budgeting authority, from the General Assembly.

Pennsylvania has been able to create the kind of public-private partnership McAuliffe was proposing, but they have a Republican governor, and even he has gotten static from right-wing critics. There's no "R" after McAuliffe's name to help insulate him from that kind of criticism.

Blue Virginia has a nice piece this week on McAuliffe's dwindling options, especially in light of the increasingly bad budget news. But the solution suggested there - win back the VA Senate for the Dems - is a longshot at best.

It could be that McAuliffe has just lost on this issue. Since he essentially staked his entire governorship on it, that doesn't bode well for the rest of his term.