CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- Virginia Organizing is a multi-issue, statewide, community organizing group that has been working for health care reform for four years. In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Virginia Organizing State Governing Board Chairperson Sandra Cook releases the following statement:
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ruled conclusively that ACA is here to stay.
Virginia Organizing has worked hard to help raise the voices of those who did not have health care coverage before the ACA and today we are thrilled with the Supreme Court decision – it’s a great day when we can celebrate raising the quality of life for millions and millions of people.
This is a strong victory for Virginia’s families. The Affordable Care Act expands coverage to 32 million Americans and eliminates the worst insurance company abuses for those already covered. The ACA ensures that people with pre-existing conditions are not denied coverage and that insurance companies cannot continue to increase rates whenever they please. The law has already benefited over 100 million people by continuing coverage for young adults up to age 26 on their parents’ plans, providing rebates and credits to small business owners, and eliminating the “donut hole” gap in coverage for seniors. More and more Virginians will see benefits like MLR (medical loss ratio) rebate checks and credits and the elimination of co-pays for preventive care this August, in addition to more real benefits for real people coming in the next two years.
It’s time for opponents to stop wasting time and get to work on fully implementing the law in Virginia. The court has spoken and the constitutional debate is done. The law is two years old and implementation is moving forward.
The ball is now in Virginia’s court. Governor Bob McDonnell appointed the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI) over two years ago and they have been working to begin implementing the ACA in our Commonwealth. However, the Governor, Attorney General, and Virginia General Assembly have largely ignored the work of this Initiative. The time for delays and playing politics with the health and lives of Virginians is over. Virginians deserve access to the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act and Virginia Organizing calls on Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly to work to fully implement the law in Virginia.
The law stops insurance companies from denying our care and arbitrarily increasing our rates whenever they please. It also ends insurance company practices that have cut short countless lives, denied coverage and services to millions and imposed billions of dollars in excess costs on consumers and employers. It also expands coverage to millions of families and small businesses that could never afford it before while at the same time lowering costs for the millions of Americans already insured.
Today we are celebrating this abundant victory for Virginia’s families. Because of the Affordable Care Act, lives have been and will be saved, costs will decrease and people are finally being put before corporate greed in our health system.”