I Ask Bill “ALEC” Howell a Simple Question. Of Course He Has No Answer.

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    This is definitely shaping up as Virginia Republicans’ Big Lie of 2014: that supposedly President Obama is responsible for 250,000 health insurance policies being canceled in Virginia. In fact, as Mark Warner spokesperson Kevin Hall correctly points out, “Federal policy allows states to continue to give consumers the option of keeping their existing plans, so this is now a state issue.” Hall adds, “Thirty-seven states, including North Carolina, have already done that, and the Virginia General Assembly can and should do the same.”

    The question, then, is why hasn’t the Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly acted to fix this, since those same Republicans claim it’s such a big problem? (My exact question to Howell was: “So why didn’t you pass legislation to prevent that? This is 100% a state issue at this point, and many other states have taken action – but not Virginia.”) It’s not like there wasn’t a bill introduced (see SB 5012 Health benefit plans; renewal of nonconforming policies by Sen. George Barker) in the recent special session.

    So what did Republicans DO with this bill, given that they are supposedly SO concerned (note: they’re really not concerned at all, but are simply using this to score cheap political points) about those 250,000 Virginians (even as they are NOT concerned with hundreds of thousands more Virginians who desperately need Medicaid expansion)? Why, of course, they acted on it right away seriously considered it shunted it off to the Committee on Commerce and Labor, where it’s currently languishing.

    So, bottom line: next time you hear Bill “ALEC” Howell, ethically challenged Barbara Comstock, or any other Republican cry crocodile tears on this issue, just hand them a Kleenex and give them a hug. Either that, or tell them where to shove their Big Lie.

    P.S. Also see Virginia GOP Proves Its “250k Losing Healthcare Due to Obamacare” Talking Point is Bull****

    • Interested Observer

      But, Delegate Peter Farrell had an almost identical bill in the regular session and — for some reason — the Democratic chaired Senate Commerce and Labor Committee killed the bill. Hope that there is a good reason for this.

      http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bi

      Following is the vote count to kill the bill:                YEAS–Saslaw, Stosch, Edwards, Watkins, Puckett, McEachin, Alexander, Barker, Marsden, Ebbin, Lewis–11.

      NAYS–Wagner, Newman, Obenshain–3.

       

    • Interested Observer

      No.   That is Block Vote Passage (98-0). http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bi…  

      That means it passed the House unanimously along with other non-controversial bills.   It passed the House in January, the Senate sat on the bill all of February, then killed it in March.

      Click the link to the impact statement, it has the same intent and purpose as George Barker’s bill.   But, for some reason, when Delegate Farrell’s bill got to Saslaw’s Commerce and Labor Committee, they “passed it by indefinitely”.   That is they killed the bill.   I’m not sure why…