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Virginia governor candidates promise support for expanded mental health services

Published On: Aug 06 2013 07:36:07 AM EDT
Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli


Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe, left, and Ken Cuccinelli, right.


Virginia's candidates for governor both pledged their support for expanded mental health services at a forum in Richmond.

Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe both said Monday night that they would make mental health a top priority. But they differed on how they would do it.

McAuliffe got enthusiastic applause when he said he supports expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to make services available to about 400,000 more low-income Virginians.

About 80,000 of those would receive mental health services.

Cuccinelli said he continues to oppose Medicaid expansion until the federal government gives Virginia more control over the program.

However, he said he is committed to devoting more money to mental health.

He also said he would significantly reform the state agency that manages Medicaid.