Del. Patrick Hope: Outcome of Lawsuit Is Predetermined

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    (Nice job by my delegate, Patrick Hope! – promoted by lowkell)

    PH on floorThe following is a letter to the editor written by Del. Patrick Hope that appeared in Monday’s RTD:

    Outcome of Lawsuit Is Predetermined

    Editor, Times-Dispatch: As someone who has worked in health care policy for more than 15 years and is now an elected official, I am dumbfounded by some of the statements being made by opponents of health care reform — and most recently by the editorial, “Unconstitutional.”

    Gov. Bob McDonnell — who campaigned with a promise to reach across the aisle in a bipartisan fashion to help solve our most pressing problems — weighed in with misstatements of his own that only feed into the anger and frustrations that have played out recently.

    More after the “flip”

    Contrary to the opposition rhetoric surrounding this historic law, Virginians from every corner of the commonwealth will greatly benefit from the improved quality care, better patient outcomes, and reduction in health care costs. Under the new law, coverage will be extended to the vast majority of more than 1 million Virginians who are uninsured. It will greatly improve competition and choice in the insurance marketplace, and place more emphasis on prevention and wellness.

    An example of the most reckless part of McDonnell’s statement stems from Virginia’s new law that challenges the federal government’s authority to mandate the purchasing of health insurance and his association with the legal challenge filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. But the evidence is clear that there is a direct link between uncompensated care that is provided to the uninsured and the rising cost of health insurance premiums to businesses and individuals. It’s estimated this adds approximately $1,000 annually per insured.

    This “hidden tax” is having a detrimental impact on our economy, stifling the purchasing power of individuals, and preventing business from making capital investment or expanding its work force. If that doesn’t scream interstate commerce, I’m not sure what does.

    But notwithstanding the merits of a legal challenge at a time when thousands of public schoolteachers across the commonwealth will be fired due to lack of state funds, we simply do not have the luxury of bankrolling ideological fishing expeditions whose outcome has already been predetermined. Virginia’s working families deserve better. Del. Patrick Hope, Virginia House of Delegates.

    Arlington.