On October 1st, just 25 days away, millions of uninsured Americans will have the opportunity to purchase their own health insurance that will go into effect January 1, 2014. They will be able to do so without the fear of being denied due to poor health or pre-existing conditions. They will be able to do so without fear of paying discriminatory pricing due to their gender. They will be able to purchase insurance without the threat of missing something in the fine print, and will obtain coverage with guaranteed benefits that will allow them to work with a doctor to improve their health.
If you are uninsured, and want to get ready for enrollment now, start here.
We have known all of the above for quite some time, despite the doom-and-gloom messaging of opponents of the ACA. Thanks to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), we now know “Obamacare” will be able to stand by the “Affordable” in the official title of the law, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” This week, KFF released the results of a 17 states + DC study to find out what insurance will cost on the newly formed exchanges. The costs are below expectations, notably lower than the Congressional Budget Office itself predicted.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted to move forward with expansion in their budget this week, after Lt. Bill Bolling (R) explained why he supported expansion and Secretary Bill Hazel addressed the Senate. With the Senate voting to do the right thing for Virginia, we now await action from the House of Delegates. If the House and Senate can agree on expansion in their conference committee, to work out their differences in their budget blueprints, it will be up to Governor Bob McDonnell to decide if he wants to allow Virginians to continue to pay taxes while forfeiting the benefits of Medicaid expansion to other states who chose expansion. With the Chamber of Commerce supporting Medicaid expansion, is there any other choice for the House and Governor?
If the House of Delegates comes around, we can move forward with Medicaid expansion on January 1, 2014 and begin to help 400,000 Virginians gain health insurance, create 30,000 jobs in the Commonwealth, and avoid the masochistic choice to have Virginians continue to pay their fair share of Federal Taxes and leave that funding for other states to benefit.
Yesterday, Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling came out and urged Virginia Republicans to accept Medicaid expansion, in sharp contrast to his GOP colleagues Governor McDonnell, AG Cuccinelli and Speaker of the House Bill Howell.
We cannot allow this opportunity to be missed. We cannot afford to ignore the 400,000 Virginians who would gain health insurance from expansion. We cannot afford to turn down the $2 billion per year increase in Federal Funding for our Medicaid program - funding that comes from the taxes Virginians will continue to pay regardless of the GA decision! We cannot afford to pass up the estimated 30,000 new health care jobs for the Commonwealth.
See below the fold for an email I sent to fellow Members of the Virginia Chapter of Doctors for America.
Dr Chris Lillis and Karen Dulaney - the Director of the Moss Free Clinic - have arranged a screening of an award winning documentary film in Fredericksburg on Wednesday, January 23rd. The film will be shown at the Paragon Theater at 7:30 pm (the theater behind the Spotsylvania Mall on Route 3).
Escape Fire premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to win multiple awards at various film festivals (Full Frame, Silverdocs, Newport Beach and Berkshire). Roger Ebert in a recent blog referred to Escape Fire as "Extraordinary". His official review here: ( http://rogerebert.suntimes.com... )
For those of you who haven't seen or heard about the film, a brief synopsis:
ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: what can be done to save our broken medical system? The film examines the powerful forces trying to maintain the status quo in a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. The film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation.
You must pre-purchase a ticket through the link below - tickets are not sold at the screening through this special arrangement: http://www.tugg.com/events/2312