The Affordable Care Act and the subsequent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court has caused a coverage gap of uninsured Virginians who are not eligible for Medicaid and do not qualify for subsidies to purchase private insurance on the healthcare exchange. The Virginia General Assembly is considering how to address this issue and it’s important that they hear from us why they need to solve this problem that affects all Virginians.
Bipartisan Compromise – Increasing access to health insurance coverage and reducing health care costs for all Virginians are not partisan issues. These are common challenges shared by Virginians from every walk of life and both political parties. Solving them requires a bipartisan compromise between Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly.
Increasing Access to Health Care – Closing the "coverage gap" through a private, free market-based solution will expand health insurance access to nearly 200,000 uninsured Virginians who earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidies to purchase insurance on the federal health exchange.
Reducing Costs for Patients – Every person in Virginia who has health insurance pays higher out-of-pocket costs for medical care to subsidize the treatment of uninsured patients at our hospitals. Closing the "coverage gap" through a private, free market-based solution will reduce this "cost-shifting" onto insured patients and bring down the cost of everyone's medical bills.
Controlling Costs for Businesses – Virginia businesses pay an extra $240 each year for every employee covered by their health insurance plan to subsidize the treatment of uninsured patients at our hospitals. Closing the "coverage gap" through a private, free market-based solution will reduce the cost of employee health premiums for businesses by $20 million every year.
Keeping Our Hospitals Strong – The Affordable Care Act eliminates $300 million each year in federal funding for Virginia hospitals, which puts a significant strain on hospitals' ability to provide affordable, quality care to all patients. Closing the "coverage gap" through a private, free market-based solution will offset these federal cuts and allow hospitals to remain financially strong.
Reclaiming Our Federal Tax Dollars – Virginia taxpayers are sending $1.8 billion a year to the federal government in ACA-related taxes. By closing the "coverage gap" through a private, free market-based solution, Virginia can reclaim those tax dollars and put them to work for our people. If we do not close the "coverage gap," Virginia loses every dime of those hard-earned tax dollars.