McAuliffe releases plan to ensure all Virginians have equitable access to affordable health care
OK, first off, everything from the Terry McAuliffe campaign is touted by said campaign as being “bold.” Enough with that, alright?
That said, McAuliffe, the former governor, boldly released a plan titled Building A Healthier Virginia that the aspiring future governor says should ensure that every Virginian has access to high-quality, affordable health care.
Emphasis on boldly.
The focus is on strengthening Medicaid, working with the federal government to lower health insurance premiums, combating rising prescription drug prices and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable, and protecting Virginians’ reproductive freedoms.
“Access to quality, affordable health care is a fundamental right, and our work to ensure all Virginians have access to it is far from over. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Virginians who remain uninsured, and the continued threat of rising prescription drug prices, we have much work to be done — but I’ve never shied away from a tough fight and I know we will get it done,” said McAuliffe, who is competing for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination.
“As governor, I will act boldly and partner with our Democratic legislature and President Biden’s administration. Together, we will lower costs for Virginians, eradicate racial inequities in access to care and outcomes, and always remain a brick wall against any attacks on Virginians’ reproductive rights,” McAuliffe said.
Highlights of Building a Healthier Virginia include drawing down federal funding in support of a state reinsurance program that will lower premiums and bolster insurer participation in the marketplace, the creation of Medicaid buy-in program that would be available on the new state-based exchange for those who do not qualify for Medicaid but are having trouble paying for coverage, and increasing subsidies and tax credits for families in need.
The plan also combats the predatory system of prescription drug pricing by creating a state watchdog for consumers that will set limits for drug prices and keep high-cost drugs affordable.
Also included: addressing inequities in Black women maternal mortality by building on the Northam administration’s efforts to secure doula coverage under Medicaid, to extend coverage for a full year for postpartum women, and expand access to telehealth.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us once again that Black and Brown Virginians continue to face inequities when it comes to our health care system — and the consequences can be deadly. Now more than ever we need bold leadership to improve access to care and health outcomes as we work to recover from this pandemic, and I know Terry McAuliffe will get it done,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas, chair of the Senate Education and Health Committee. “Terry has a long record of fighting for what is right — as governor he stood up every day against extreme Republican opposition to expanding Medicaid. Despite their roadblocks, Terry made significant progress in expanding coverage for low-income Virginians and in creating a first-of-its-kind program for pregnant women. I trust Terry McAuliffe to fight boldly to end health disparities and expand access to coverage, because I’ve seen him do it before.”