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McAuliffe vetoes bill exempting direct primary care agreements from health insurance laws, regulations

lawGovernor Terry McAuliffe on Friday vetoed House Bill 685, which would have excluded direct primary care agreements from health insurance laws and regulations.


The Governor’s veto statement

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 685, which allows for direct primary care agreements by excluding them from insurance laws and regulations.  Direct primary care agreements are insurance-like contracts in which a patient pays a predetermined amount in exchange for future medical services with a primary care physician or group.

While I applaud the patron’s desire to increase access to care, I feel this concept needs further scrutiny and study.  Over the past three sessions, I have championed bringing federal taxpayer dollars back to the Commonwealth to cover more than 400,000 hard-working Virginians.  A direct primary care agreement is merely a stop-gap measure in a time when bolder steps are needed.  Not only would a product like this deter an individual from purchasing health insurance, it would still not cover any catastrophic care or chronic conditions requiring a specialist.

I proposed amending House Bill 685 by adding a reenactment clause to allow for further study.  I am now vetoing this bill to allow more time to consider the potential challenges, issues and advantages associated with direct primary care agreements. While direct primary care agreements may be good in theory, more work needs to be done on how to best implement this change and protect consumers.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

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