Virginia's Governor McDonnell Folding on Exchanges?

Virginia’s Republican majority very unfortunately passed the budget busting ObamaCare Medicaid expansion (pushing 400,000 more Virginians into the single payer program), a state sales tax increase to help Virginians through the current hard times, and an expensive but unnecessary Dulles rail boondoggle when DC’s Metro rail service already extends to Reagan Airport.

But now, to cap the GOP’s bold moves to re-establish themselves as the other party of bad government in Virginia, Gov. McDonnell appears to be equivocating on health care exchanges. From Politico:

McDonnell has rejected a state-run exchange in Virginia and sworn off a partnership with the federal government. But this week, he said he’d sign legislation that would retain state authority over the management of plans offered on the exchange. That’s precisely the definition of a partnership — even if aides to McDonnell insisted that the exchange was no partnership.

“The governor remains in a posture whereby he supports Virginia’s participation in a federally facilitated exchange while maintaining the control over the health insurance marketplace,” said spokesman Jeff Caldwell. “The governor intends to sign the legislation into law, so long as they only give appropriate authority for Virginia to perform the plan management function within a federally facilitated exchange. … It is likely that a decision will be made by the end of next week.”

Having ridden taxes and the ObamaCare issue to a GOP majority in both legislative houses and the governor’s office, the current legislative session calls the Virginia GOP’s fidelity into question, lowering the bar to within sight of the state Democrats and setting the stage for Tea Party challenges all around in Virginia’s 2013 election cycle where state offices will be contested.