Business coalition launches campaign to support private option plan to close coverage gap

healthcareA non-partisan coalition of Virginia business and community leaders today announced it is launching a statewide radio, online and social media advertising campaign to galvanize support for a Medicaid ‘Private Option’ plan to close Virginia’s coverage gap for the uninsured.

The campaign encourages Virginians to join the coalition through its website, www.ahealthyvirginiaworks.com, where they can also contact their legislators and urge their support for a free market-based solution to close Virginia’s coverage gap. The coalition’s radio ad can be heard here:soundcloud.com/healthyvaworks/a-healthy-virginia-works-radio. The coalition has also launched a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/healthyvaworks) and Twitter page (twitter.com/HealthyVaWorks), both of which the coalition is promoting through targeted statewide advertising.

Virginia businesses and taxpayers are sending $5 million every day to the federal government to expand health insurance coverage for working people in our state,” said Michel Zajur, President of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We think the fiscally responsible approach is to reclaim that money and use it to promote a healthier workforce in Virginia. At the same time, we can seize this opportunity to introduce a new private model into our Medicaid system so it’s more efficient and sustainable for the long term.”

The coalition released the names of nearly 450 businesses, hospitals, organizations and individuals who have joined the coalition in support of a market-based solution to Virginia’s coverage gap. The complete list of coalition supporters can be found here: www.ahealthyvirginiaworks.com/supporters.

“Every day, more businesses are coming on board to join our coalition and help send a clear message: Virginia’s business community wants to bring our federal healthcare dollars back to Virginia to help our economy remain competitive,” said Laurie Moran, President of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. “Expanding access to health coverage will promote a healthier, more productive workforce, and it will reduce the cost of healthcare premiums for Virginia’s job producing businesses,” she added.

Speaking about the significance of today’s announcement, Alan Witt, CEO of PBMares, said, “The growing ranks of our coalition is a clear sign that the business community is coming together on this issue and that we want a solution sooner rather than later. Businesses are paying too much to subsidize uncoordinated care for the uninsured. It’s not good for people’s health, and it’s damaging our economic competitiveness. If we want to remain the number one state for business, we need a solution to this problem – a solution based on the principles of the free market and privately managed care. That’s what the Senate private option does, and that’s why we’re supporting it.”



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