augusta free press news

Northam: Senate healthcare proposal ‘detrimental’ to Virginia

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam criticized the Better Care Reconciliation Act at an event in Norfolk today.

ralph northam“One of the very first principles of medicine is ‘do no harm.’ As a doctor, I know firsthand what that means,” said Northam, the Democratic Party nominee for governor. “We as policymakers need to have the same principle. If we look at what’s going on in Washington right now, the Senate healthcare proposal is very harmful and it’s very detrimental to this country and this Commonwealth.”

Northam outlined the negative impact of the U.S. Senate health bill outside the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters where he has cared for patients for nearly 25 years. Over 55 percent of the patients at CHKD are recipients of Medicaid.

The federal proposal calls for an estimated $1.4 billion hit to Virginia’s Medicaid program, which serves nearly 1 million Virginia children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and elderly. Additionally, the bill would cut funding for essential women’s reproductive health services and allow insurers to deny people with pre-existing conditions.

“I’ve been clear about where I stand — I will keep fighting this irresponsible effort to undermine our healthcare system and to ensure that no family is one medical illness away from financial demise in this commonwealth,” Northam said.