|MCLEAN, VA – Terry McAuliffe today released his Bold Plan to Tackle Rising Costs and Meet the Health Care Needs of All Virginians to ensure that Virginians have access to quality, affordable health care by lowering premiums, creating new options for affordable health care coverage, and taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug costs. Despite expanding Medicaid to more than 550,000 people in the Commonwealth, nearly half of Virginians went without care in the last year because of high costs, three-fourths worry about affording their health care expenses in the future, and one in four Virginians have had to stop taking their prescription medications because they are too expensive. As Virginia’s next Governor, Terry will make sure premiums are affordable, consumers are protected, and that the insurance marketplace is healthy and competitive.
As governor, Terry will stand up Virginia’s new state health care exchange that was sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan, implement a state reinsurance program, and create a Medicaid “buy-in” option on the exchange. This Medicaid buy-in program will be available on the new state-based exchange for those who do not qualify for Medicaid but are unable to afford their coverage, and he will increase subsidies and tax credits for families in need. Terry will also work to create standardization among plans on the exchange to protect consumers, target outreach and enrollment services, as well as work directly with insurers to make sure that plans meet the health care needs of all Virginians.
To expand access to coverage and increase affordability for Virginians, Terry will partner closely with the Biden Administration. He will ensure Virginia is able to draw down federal funding in support of a state reinsurance program that will lower premiums and bolster insurer participation in the marketplace. He will also combat the predatory system of prescription drug pricing by creating a state watchdog for consumers that will set limits for drug prices and keep high-cost drugs affordable. And he will pass a Prescription Drug Sunlight Law to give Virginians clear information about drug costs and price increases.
Meanwhile, Glenn Youngkin has said Medicaid expansion was “sad.” And as Virginia families and businesses reeled from the effects of COVID-19 and record unemployment rates, Youngkin called the American Rescue Plan “unnecessary,” even though it ensured people who lost their jobs would still receive health care coverage, and provided 41,000 Virginians without insurance essential tax credits to assist with the cost of health care coverage. When Virginians needed it most, Glenn Youngkin fought against the economic recovery, against nursing homes, and against affordable health care.
“No Virginian should have to choose between getting the care they need or putting food on the table, and that is why one of my top priorities as governor will be making health care more affordable. I know we can do this because I have done it before,” said Terry McAuliffe. “As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, I laid groundwork for the expansion of Medicaid that gave half a million Virginians critical health coverage. Unsurprisingly, extremist Trump-Republican Glenn Youngkin thinks it’s ‘sad’ that nearly 13,000 people were able to receive cancer treatment thanks to Medicaid expansion. Virginians deserve better, and just as I have done before I will fight extremists like him and ensure Virginians have access to affordable, quality health care.”
As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry fought tirelessly to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Virginians in the face of constant Republican obstruction and opposition. Terry laid the groundwork for the successful passage of Medicaid expansion by building his final budget proposal around the $421.7 million in estimated savings that would come from expanding Medicaid and securing an assessment on hospitals to help fund Medicaid expansion, and he made big strides in expanding access to coverage for Virginians. Terry was a brick wall against extreme Republican attacks on health care during his administration, and he will be ready on day one to fight for affordable health care as Virginia’s next governor.
To support older Virginians, Terry will also expand Virginia’s Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) centers and make long-term care more affordable. PACE centers give older adults the option to stay at home and receive comprehensive medical care, all covered under Medicaid and Medicare. Rural areas are unfortunately underserved by PACE centers, and Terry is committed to overcoming the barriers to PACE access by creating incentives for practitioners to live and work in rural areas. He will also direct the Department of Medical Assistant Services to put out a Request for Applications, opening the door to new PACE centers serving more Virginians.
Since launching his campaign in December 2020, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system and dramatically increase teacher pay, help secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, reform our criminal justice system, ensure Virginians have access to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing, boldly confront the gun violence epidemic, make Virginia the best state in the nation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health Care (STEM-H) and computer science education, tackle the housing crisis in the Commonwealth and invest in Virginia’s workforce in the post-COVID economy, ensure Virginians have access to high-quality, affordable health care, tackle climate change and secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035, lift up Black Virginians as the Commonwealth rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic, further advance LGBTQ+ rights, create a flourishing rural economy and support entrepreneurial ecosystems in Virginia.