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Virginia Chamber of Commerce urges General Assembly to address Medicaid gap

healthcareThe Virginia Chamber of Commerce, joined by business leaders and Chambers of Commerce from across the Commonwealth, endorsed on Monday a private option approach and released a series of principles to address Medicaid in Virginia.

These free-market based principles highlight eleven reforms that businesses are urging the General Assembly to consider as they work to address Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created uncertainty for the business community. Insurance premiums for Virginia’s businesses have risen 32 percent faster than the rate of inflation, in part because of the cost shifting due to the uninsured,” said Gary Thomson, Regional Managing Partner with Dixon Hughes Goodman and Ccairman of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“Over the next eight years, Virginia businesses will incur $16.4 billion in ACA-related taxes to pay for federal health care reform. A private option plan will allow Virginia to take control of $15 billion of its federal tax dollars and put them to work for Virginia businesses, taxpayers and communities.”

Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber said, “Virginia should adopt Medicaid reforms and use an approach that would promote value, improve access to preventative services, elevate quality and control health care costs. While we have always expressed our concerns with the increased taxes and fees being imposed on businesses because of the ACA, this approach will allow Virginia to utilize its tax dollars in a manner that makes the Commonwealth more competitive by reducing heath care costs and improving wellness. We urge the General Assembly to develop an innovative approach that will cover the uninsured while delivering personal responsibility for costs, care coordination, and incentives for healthy behavior. I am confident that we can solve this issue the Virginia Way.”

“As a large employer in Virginia, a healthy workforce is our most important asset,” said Gary McCollum, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Cox Communications. “The cost of the healthcare system and the overall health of Virginia’s workforce has become an economic competitiveness issue. Wellness and prevention components of the private option will allow more Virginians to take control and ownership over their healthcare.”

Highlights of the free-market based reforms that businesses are urging the General Assembly to consider include:

  • Total privatization of Medicaid expansion in VA
  • Requirement that the Commonwealth achieve sufficient savings to offset the state’s share of contributions for the private option
  • Requirement that enrollees must be employed or actively seeking employment
  • Encourage a market-oriented approach for new enrollees to control their use of healthcare services and maintain healthy behaviors, including cost sharing
  • Financial incentives to encourage healthy behaviors, including health savings accounts
  • Require an audit of the Medicaid program and a renewal of the private option plan every 4 years
  • Language that the private option plan would terminate if the federal government fails to meet their financial obligations under the ACA
  • Support wellness and preventative services
  • Require annual performance reviews
  • Expand fraud and abuse prevention measures to control costs.

 

Supporters of the private option include:

  • Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
  • Culpeper Chamber of Commerce
  • Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
  • Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
  • Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce
  • Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce
  • Richlands Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber
  • Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
  • Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Washington County Chamber of Commerce

augusta free press
augusta free press