Rasoul healthcare bill passes General Assembly

sam rasoulThe Virginia Senate unanimously passed HB 319, put forward by Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke City).

The legislation would allow medical professionals who provide charitable healthcare services to receive continuing education credits. Rasoul called it an important measure that will give Virginians greater access to healthcare and help medical industry workers professionally.

“This legislation helps the neediest Virginians receive affordable healthcare without growing government,” said Rasoul. “By incentivizing doctors and other medical professionals to volunteer their time, we both expand access to healthcare and strengthen communities. We all benefit when we have a healthy populace.”

“We worked with state agencies, members of the medical community, and other organizations to make this happen, which is a great example of how we can create positive change by working together,” he continued.

Once implemented, the legislation could result in over 85,000 free visits a year with a potential value of $48 million in donated care in Virginia, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). A similar program took effect in Florida in 1992 and has been described as “one example of how innovative solutions can leverage existing medical resources to maximum effect and deliver the care needed for many of the most vulnerable in our society,” by the FGA.

HB 319 now heads to the Governor for his signature to become law as of January 1, 2017.