jump to example.com
newsletter linked in

Ken Plum: Obamacare in Virginia

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, into law on March 23, 2010. On the same day Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the first lawsuit in the nation to challenge the provision in ACA that most individuals be mandated to have health insurance. Eastern District Federal Judge Henry Hudson ruled in December 2010 the individual mandate was unconstitutional because it exceeded congressional powers. The case is now before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond and is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the same time Virginia’s Attorney General is fighting ACA in court, Virginia’s Governor has set about implementing the new law in the Commonwealth. In a well-documented paper in The Virginia News Letter from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, Jill Hanken who is staff attorney at the Virginia Poverty Law Center argues very persuasively as the title of her article implies that “The Affordable Care Act Holds Great Promise for Virginia.” As pointed out in the article, a commission appointed by Governor McDonnell to evaluate ways to improve the state’s system of health care and to recommend ways to comply with ACA stated in its December 2010 report very frankly that “surprising to some and embarrassing to all, Virginia’s overall health system performance is actually quite mediocre. To be sure, there are excellent hospitals, physicians, health centers, and innovative health plans that are working hard to effectuate local and statewide improvement. Still, it is hard to be proud of a system in which nearly one million Virginians – and 150,000 children – lack health insurance and timely access to quality care that only it can ensure.”

Already under Obamacare, Virginians with preexisting conditions can get affordable care. Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions affecting some 123,000 Virginia children, and in 2014 this provision will extend to adults. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. Lifetime limits on new health insurance policies are prohibited. Small businesses are able to get tax credits to provide health insurance to their employees. The Commonwealth is receiving more than $50 million in federal funds to implement the new law. Billions more will come to Virginia to expand coverage under Medicaid.

Obamacare through ACA has set off some schizophrenic behavior in Virginia. On the one hand Attorney General Cuccinelli is gaining notoriety in taking on the law in court and seeking to stop it. At the same time the state is taking positive steps to implement the law and extending health insurance and medical care to thousands of Virginians who have been without them. Obamacare truly holds great promise for Virginians.

Ken Plum is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

 
Top Stories
a

Game Preview: #7 Virginia underdog at Duke on Saturday

Virginia led Duke by nine with 5:19 to go. Remember how that felt? GameDay was in town, a national TV audience was watching on primetime on a Saturday night.

New Wayne Theatre effort to support local arts

The Wayne Theatre Alliance will create a Local Arts Fund that will be available to local performance groups to offset costs associated with using the Wayne.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline to adopt alternative route through national forests

Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC has worked with the U.S. Forest Service over the last several months to find an alternative route that avoids sensitive areas.

Strong enrollment in health insurance marketplace in Virginia

Nearly 421,900 Virginians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, exceeding expectations that enrollment would reach 400,000 this year.

Waynesboro begins Downtown Riverfront improvements

Spring 2016 marks the beginning of some dramatic and exciting changes to the Downtown Riverfront area in Waynesboro.

City leaders want to delay new Waynesboro High School talks: Smart move

Waynesboro City Council leaders want to delay talks with the Waynesboro School Board over the future of Waynesboro High School until after the May city elections.

McAuliffe seems to welcome criticism from Everytown on gun bill

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has reversed course on gun control and is taking the incremental approach. A one-time ally is calling foul.

Fishburne Military School rifle team again best in Virginia

Brian Draper and his teammates on the Fishburne Military School rifle team would soon be taking aim with rifles at targets 50 feet away.

Bring your business courtside (almost) to 2016 ACC Tournament

Augusta Free Press will once again be courtside at the ACC Tournament - this year coming to the nation's capital March 8-12.

Augusta Health house calls: A ‘new twist’ on an old paradigm

The house call is making a comeback, and changes in medical technology are enabling doctors to take the power of the hospital with them to the living rooms of homebound seniors.

 
Discussion
 
Recent News

AFP Business

AFP: The Magazine

In 2015, Augusta Free Press brought back our print magazine under a new name, Augusta Free Press: The Magazine.
.
 

Advertise on AFP

Get information on AFP readership and advertising online with us.
.
 

AFP Classes

Augusta Free Press offers a series classes on website design, marketing strategy, social media, event planning and more.
.
 

AFP Web Design

Get your business online for as little as $1,299. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development.
.
 

AFP Graphic Design

Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
.

AFP Marketing/PR

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
.
 

AFP Search Engine Optimization

The prettiest website in the world is like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. If your website hasn’t been search engine optimized, no one is going to see it or hear it – and it’s not going to work for you.

 

AFP Video/Audio

Web videos, TV and radio commercials, DVDs – Augusta Free Press LLC has you covered when it comes to video and audio production.
.
 

AFP Book Publishing

Augusta Free Press Publishing has produced books in-house and assisted more than 17 authors with book publishing and production services since 2003. Whether you need a cover, layout, or need help from start to finish, we are here to help!
.