Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today in response to the health care legislation Republicans in the U.S. Congress introduced last night:
“We are still awaiting more detailed cost and impact analyses of the health care proposal put forward by congressional Republicans and supported by President Trump, but an early examination raises serious concerns about how it could impact states like Virginia and the people who live here. It is clear that this bill puts partisan promises ahead of people's health.
“Around 400,000 Virginians have signed up for health insurance through the ACA’s federal exchange. Eighty-four percent of them rely on federal subsidies to keep their coverage. Stripping any of these individuals of coverage or forcing them to sign up for more costly but less comprehensive coverage will be unacceptable here in Virginia and across the nation – particularly if those actions are taken to fund a tax cut for the wealthy.
“Medicaid provides around one million Virginians the care they need to live healthy and productive lives, and it delivers long-term care and support for the elderly and disabled. Any scheme to save the federal government money by pushing increased costs onto the states will harm the Virginia budget, our economy and the quality of health services we provide families in every corner of the Commonwealth. It will force the Commonwealth to make difficult choices about the individuals we cover, the benefits we provide and the rates we can afford to pay. This proposal also puts states like Virginia that unwisely refused to expand Medicaid at a permanent economic and health disadvantage to the states that did.
“Women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood offer essential, low-cost health services that many Virginians would otherwise go without. Stripping these organizations of federal funding is an extreme political attack that harms Virginia families and our economy.
“Quality affordable health care is not a privilege, it is a necessity of a productive life and taking away health care access or making it more expensive doesn’t just hurt the families involved – it harms entire economies. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect – but it has helped millions of Americans access health coverage that is the bedrock of economic opportunity. On behalf of the people of Virginia, I hope our leaders in Washington will take the proper time and care to put people ahead of politics and only take actions that will build on the ACA to make health care more accessible and affordable, not less.”