One of the big issues coming up this year in the General Assembly will be implementing health care reform from the Affordable Care Act. Assuming that President Obama is re-elected, the General Assembly will only have a few months to act and set up state a health care exchange- or else the federal government will take over.
Let me repeat that- we only have a few months before the federal government will step in and take over.
A health exchange run at the state level would be set up by the General Assembly and would be used as a right wing laboratory nationwide. You can guarantee they would ban any providers from the exchange who covered any sort of abortion procedures. Given the number of customers and money to be made in the exchange that would drive every Virginia insurance provider away from any abortion coverage. I could go on and on, but every dumb right wing idea that comes out of a conservative think tank in Washington D.C. would sail through Richmond and Virginia would be the laboratory for it.
On the other hand, Virginia could take no action and the federal government would take over our exchange. A set of career federal bureaucrats managed by Obama appointees would set the terms of the exchange based on real data, not political junk in Richmond.
Which system do you think would do more to protect the best interests of Virginia's citizens?
The biggest thing standing in the way of Virginians and this much better health exchange is a clueless Democratic Party in this state.
Democratic legislators are pushing hard for Virginia to enact an exchange. Press releases are flying to try to push the Governor to action.
This is a political disaster on multiple levels.
There is no way the GOP could design an exchange that would get tea party support. That means the *only* way one could be passed into law is with a coalition of Democratic and Republican legislators- the GOP caucus could not sustain unified Democratic opposition to the state running this health exchange.
In other words, the Democrats are in the driver's seat here. They can block a Virginia exchange and ensure that the public gets the best possible outcome with a federal exchange.
Hopefully the Dems won't blow it and bail the Governor and Republicans out. If the GOP wants to run the exchange out of Richmond then let them come up with the votes to do it.