Dear Fellow Virginians,
Please urge Governor McDonnell to keep his promise and reject any legislation that seeks to accommodate “Obamanocare.” The “Affordable Care Act” does not require States to run their own Health Care Exchanges. At least 26 states have refused to set up exchanges which are website marketplaces of health insurance plans meeting federal criteria. (Google: “Virginia Health Care Exchange.” Several private marketplaces already operate).
If states refuse to set up their own exchanges, it will probably take longer for the federal government to deform healthcare and perhaps postpone enforcement of mandates requiring abortion pills and “medical” inquiries regarding which homes have guns.
In 2010, Governor McDonnell’s Secretary of Health set up a Commission to study health care “reform” with a $1 Million grant. I asked Secretary Hazel why Virginia was proceeding with government-run health care while we were challenging the law in federal court. I was told Virginia must be “prepared.”
Governor McDonnell has publicly stated he would not set up a Virginia exchange. Now he appears willing to sign bills which authorize state involvement while purporting to provide state “oversight” of a federal exchange. In reality the bills commit Virginia resources, including personnel from several state agencies, claiming (without guaranty) that Virginia will be reimbursed by the federal government (still our tax money). If this is not a state insurance exchange then what is it?
Instead of Virginia exercising its right to refuse to set up a state exchange as other states are doing, Virginia will use its authority, resources and personnel to grease the Obamanocare skids and objectionable mandates.
Several bills have already passed the General Assembly. Senate Bill 922, introduced February 11, 2013, passed the House of Delegates. It states in part:
Section 32.1-16 (b): “The Department shall be compensated for expenses incurred in providing such services. “ Does this mean compensation by state agencies or Washington? In either case, it involves additional tax money.
Section 38.2-326 (A)(i) states in part: “full funding is available.” Funding from where?
Section 38.2-326 (A) (ii) states in part: “technology infrastructure, including integration with federal, state, and other necessary entities, is made available to the commission by or through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources…” Will funding come from the feds or the state? What are the costs? Undersand that “made available,” does not mean “provided free of charge.” If the feds “provide,” what will they charge Virginia taxpayers?
Section 38.2-326 (B) states in part: “the Commission may contract with and enter into a memoranda of understanding to carry out its plan management functions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any other state or federal agency…” A MOU with another state agency simply would obligate more Virginia tax money and resources from the other state agency to pay for costs associated with the plan.
Section 38.2-326 (C) states in part: “the Commission’s obligation to perform plan management functions described in subsection A is contingent upon receiving federal funding sufficient to pay the operating expenses necessary to carry out the plan management of functions. The Commission shall seek full reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for such expenses. “Seeking full reimbursement does not mean obtaining full reimbursement. Without wording which states, “The SCC shall not perform plan management functions unless all Virginia expenses are paid in full by the Federal government” this section does not assure plan management functions will be paid for by the feds (still our money). Even if the Commission has no obligation to perform plan management functions, there is no prohibition on their performing plan functions.
Section 32.2-326 (E) states in part that “Technology resources provided by the Commission in carrying out the plan management functions shall be limited to existing commission technology support functions…” How much will this cost Virginia taxpayers?
Section 32.2-326 (F) states in part that “The Commission shall make available to the public on its website a written report on the implementation and performance of its plan management functions during the preceding fiscal year, including, at a minimum, the manner in which all funds utilized for its plan management functions were expended.” How much will this cost the State to carry out this function? How many state employees will be needed? Will others need to be hired?
If you do not want Virginia to speed up compliance with “Obamanocare” please call (804) 786-2211or email the Governor here: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/aboutthegovernor/contactgovernor.cfm Ask him to veto any legislation that accomodates “Obamanocare.”
Thank you for your help!
Delegate Bob Marshall
P.S. I thank Dr. Mark Berg for his help and insights on this bill.