Tim Kaine is exactly right on this; the Affordable Care Act is highly beneficial to Virginia and Virginians. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply wrong. As for the “individual mandate,” remember that this was a Republican idea, part of “Romneycare,” and something that’s necessary so that for-profit insurance companies can continue to make money while also ditching lifetime coverage limits, pre-existing condition restrictions, etc. The demagoguery on this issue is mind boggling, as bad or worse than the demagoguery on gasoline prices. And that’s saying something!
Richmond, VA – Governor Tim Kaine joined several Virginians who have directly benefited from the Affordable Care Act today in marking two years of progress:
“For far too long, our nation was forced to live with an unsustainable and unacceptably flawed health care system. Access decreased while costs increased and outcomes lagged behind our global competitors. Insurance companies had nearly unlimited power to raise rates and abuse their customers, and thousands of Americans went bankrupt from medical emergencies.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has impacted millions of Virginians by putting patients, instead of insurance companies, in charge of their health care. Nearly 63,000 more young people in Virginia have health coverage, more than 800,000 Virginia seniors have received free preventive care, millions of small businesses are now eligible for tax credits, and twenty million American women have access to cancer screenings and contraception without co-pays. And we’ve put an end to the egregious abuses by insurance companies that denied coverage to children with preexisting conditions, charged women higher premiums for the same coverage, and dropped folks when they got sick.
“Much more must be done to create a sustainable system that provides strong outcomes at an affordable price, but we can’t go back to the bad old days. We can still find savings without sacrificing care by negotiating prescription drug prices through Medicare and implementing other commonsense solutions that emphasize outcomes rather than procedures. But repealing the Affordable Care Act, as my opponent George Allen has called for, would undo the significant progress, do nothing to slow rising premiums, and put power back in the hands of insurance companies rather than doctors and patients. Unlike George Allen, I will protect women’s right to affordable contraception and fair treatment by insurance companies. Unlike George Allen, I will protect seniors’ access to preventive care that improves their health and saves money. And, unlike George Allen, I will preserve small business tax credits, ensure young adults can stay on their family’s plan and prevent insurance companies from once again dictating patient care. As a U.S. Senator, I will work to improve our health system so that we can have the healthiest and most productive workforce in the world.”
Here are just a few of the stories of Virginians who have already benefited from the Affordable Care Act.
“As a physician and as a woman, I am thankful that the Affordable Care Act has put women in charge of their own health care, increased access and coverage for millions across the country and eliminated fear of gender discrimination by insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act has created essential protections for women’s health, including guaranteed access to preventive services such as prenatal care, cancer screenings, and affordable contraception without co-pays, for more than 20 million women. Expanding access to these essential services will lead to healthier lives, healthier pregnancies, and healthier families.”-Dr. Wendy S. Klein, Richmond, women’s health physician
“Like many other small businesses across Virginia, the Affordable Care Act has provided the certainty I need to expand my business and hire a new employee this August. Being able to access affordable health care coverage not only benefits my business, it ensures our employees will be able to go to the doctor to get regular checkups so they are healthier, happier, and more productive. Before the Affordable Care Act, we were not protected from insurance companies who would drop or deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, but now my husband and I know we will get a fair shake in the insurance market for ourselves and our employees.”-Michelle Dykstra, Roanoke, Owner of 6-11 Bicycle Company
“Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young people like me are getting coverage through our families’ plans. This access to health care has been incredibly important and helpful to me after I graduated college. The job market is tough and it’s great for young people to be covered while they look for their first job, or in my case, pursue public service. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m able to dedicate my time to serving the Richmond community rather than worrying about what will happen if I get sick or injured.”-Tamiko Williams, Henrico County, 24-year-old graduate of VCU currently serving in AmeriCorps