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Photo: Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images

After fighting it for four years, Virginia will soon adopt the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion. Both chambers of the state legislature passed a budget bill last night that includes the expansion, which Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign.

Why it matters: Virginia is a big state — the expansion could cover as many as 400,000 people. And it's a reminder that, even after years of exhausting political fights, health care is still a salient issue: Medicaid expansion was a key part of Northam's campaign and helped propel Democrats' gains in the statehouse.

The catch: The plan Virginia lawmakers approved yesterday would include work requirements and premiums, similar to the restrictions other states have recently adopted.

  • Those rules could shave almost 20% off the number of people covered by the expansion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Yes, but: Other states' work requirements have stirred more controversy because those states had already expanded, and are now seeking to trim their rolls.

  • An expansion with work requirements seems to be the best deal Democrats are going to get in Virginia, and that still shakes out to cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured people.

Go deeper

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The coronavirus variants: What you need to know

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.