State of Virginia Archives: on Health Care


Ed Gillespie: Benefits from GOP resistance to the new health law

Gillespie begins the race as a pronounced underdog. Sen. Warner, a former governor now in his first Senate term, is the most popular politician in Virginia. But Republicans in the state believe that, because of resistance to the new health law and President Obama's declining popularity, they have an opportunity to at least make the race competitive.
Source: New York Times on 2014 Virginia Senate race Jan 9, 2014

John Raese: ObamaCare relies on poor business model; use private-sector

The disastrous ObamaCare rollout in recent weeks underscores Raese's long-held contention that the federal government shouldn't be in businesses that belong in the private sector.

Now all can see what ObamaCare critics like the business-savvy Raese was trying to tell us in 2012, namely what a terribly poor business model ObamaCare has. Without millions of younger Americans to participate in ObamaCare to offset all of the older participants, ObamaCare can't possibly work.

However, what are the odds of getting enough of these young Americans to pay higher health care insurance premiums when they don't feel the need for expensive plans in the first place? Everyone sees this--now. Raese saw problems like this from the beginning.

John Raese was the state's Number One challenger to ObamaCare in his races against Manchin. He tried to tell us.

Source: Huntington News editorial on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 21, 2013

Natalie Tennant: Supports access to insurance for all

President Obama has pushed the national Democratic Party farther to the left on everything from health care to the environment to gun control.˙ That's a problem for U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant.

Take ObamaCare for example, which is losing popularity due to the mismanaged enrollment process. Tennant wants to find the right balance on ObamaCare.˙ During a recent appearance on Talkline, when asked directly whether she would have voted for or against ACA if she were in the Senate, Tennant equivocated. "We need to have West Virginians have the ability to have access to health care," Tennant said.˙ "I am going to vote for West Virginians, the 270,000 (uninsured), to be able to have access to health care, to not deny these individuals."

It was a way of supporting the concept of insurance for all, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, without actually saying she supports ObamaCare.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 20, 2013

Natalie Tennant: FactCheck: GOP says 147,000 lose insurance; really 8,800

About 8,800 West Virginia residents stand to lose their health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act's new requirements for insurance plans. The health care reform law requires citizens to enroll in health insurance but also includes a list of requirements for health insurance plans. Insurance providers must cancel or change plans that don't meet those requirements.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out a press release attempting to tie the Affordable Care Act to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. The NRSC claimed 147,000 West Virginia residents "are at risk of losing their health insurance," but a health care analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said that figure is far above any estimates he's seen, which are around 28,000.

An NRSC spokesperson said the group obtained its numbers from census data, although the Daily Mail could not find that number on the census website.

Source: Herald-Dispatch AdWatch on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 14, 2013

Mark Warner: AdWatch: Targeted by RNC robocalls for support of ObamaCare

Sen. Mark Warner is among 11 Democrats targeted by the Republican National Committee for their support of ObamaCare. The RNC is using robocalls and posting on Facebook to urge people to call their representatives and ask "why they supported President Obama's lie that people could keep their healthcare plans under ObamaCare."

The targets besides Mark Warner are Reps. Gary Peters (MI) and Bruce Braley (IA), Mark Begich (AK), Dick Durbin (IL), Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Mark Pryor (AR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Udall (CO). The robocall script reads:

"President Obama and the Democrats said you could keep your healthcare plan under ObamaCare. Now we know [SENATOR] actually VOTED to make it more difficult. Call [SENATOR] at (XXX)-XXX-XXX & ask why [he/she] lied."

The robocalls are a response to Democrats launching the "GOP Shutdown Watch" campaign, highlighting Republican senate candidates who supported the partial federal government shutdown.

Source: MI Daily Tribune AdWatch: 2014 Virginia Senate debate Nov 5, 2013

Robert Sarvis: Focus on catastrophic insurance & cash subsidies

I favor a three-part approach to overhauling public health-care spending:
  1. Focus on catastrophic, not comprehensive, insurance/care. Comprehensive insurance programs are ridiculously expensive, but the benefits in health outcomes do not justify the cost. The most salient benefit is protection from financially ruinous catastrophic health problems, which can be provided at much lower cost by catastrophic insurance.
  2. Focus public spending on mental-health care. Studies suggest high returns on public spending on mental health.
  3. Focus on cash subsidies. Rather than having bureaucrats decide what services should be available and at what cost, providing cash subsidies gives patients greater flexibility to meet their individualized health-care needs and restores market incentives to keep costs down and to innovate in the provision of services.
Source: 2013 Virginia Governor campaign website, robertsarvis.com Sep 21, 2013

Ken Cuccinelli: Opposes ObamaCare and opposes delaying its implementation

Cuccinelli reiterated his opposition to President Obama's health-care plan, but he also criticized Obama for not following his own law by postponing the legislation's employer mandate for one year. McAuliffe, meanwhile, made clear that he still supports the law and stressed that he thinks Virginia should accept the measure's invitation to expand the state's Medicaid program, which Cuccinelli opposes.
Source: Washington Post on 2013 Virginia governor debates Jul 21, 2013

Terry McAuliffe: Supports ObamaCare's expanding the state's Medicaid program

Cuccinelli reiterated his opposition to President Obama's health-care plan, but he also criticized Obama for not following his own law by postponing the legislation's employer mandate for one year. McAuliffe, meanwhile, made clear that he still supports the law and stressed that he thinks Virginia should accept the measure's invitation to expand the state's Medicaid program, which Cuccinelli opposes.
Source: Washington Post on 2013 Virginia governor debates Jul 21, 2013

George Allen: ObamaCare hurts seniors by taking $700B from Medicare

Kaine noted both Medicare and Social Security are critically important. He said the Medicare budget is growing partially for the good reason that people are living longer. However, Kaine added that the government needs to get costs under control. Kaine proposed allowing the government to negotiate rates for prescription drug prices. He argues this will save about $250 billion over ten years. Kaine argued that Congress failed to include that provision while Allen was in the Senate for Medicare Part D. Kaine also promoted examining pilot projects for healthy outcomes, instead of just medical procedures.

Allen on Medicare, said Part D has helped seniors pay for their medications. Allen claims the $700 billion that "ObamaCare" takes out would hurt seniors. Kaine countered that money would be moved to programs that help seniors live healthier and prevent some medical procedures.

Source: WSLS-TV-10 on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Tim Kaine: Let Medicare negotiate rates for prescription drug prices

Kaine noted both Medicare and Social Security are critically important. He said the Medicare budget is growing partially for the good reason that people are living longer. However, Kaine added that the government needs to get costs under control. Kaine proposed allowing the government to negotiate rates for prescription drug prices. He argues this will save about $250 billion over ten years. Kaine argued that Congress failed to include that provision while Allen was in the Senate for Medicare Part D. Kaine also promoted examining pilot projects for healthy outcomes, instead of just medical procedures.

Allen on Medicare, said Part D has helped seniors pay for their medications. Allen claims the $700 billion that "ObamaCare" takes out would hurt seniors. Kaine countered that money would be moved to programs that help seniors live healthier and prevent some medical procedures.

Source: WSLS-TV-10 on 2012 Virginia Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Joe Manchin III: ObamaCare makes healthcare more affordable for everyone

Manchin said the goal of ObamaCare is to make healthcare more affordable for everyone which would result in a healthier population and lower healthcare costs.

But Raese deems ObamaCare as part of the problem.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Reform & repair ObamaCare, not repeal

On health care, Manchin and Raese clashed over the Affordable Health Care Act. Manchin says a complete upheaval of the law would be the wrong idea. "I have been for reforming, repairing, and not repealing. Pre-existing conditions is wrong," Manchin said. "You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, sometimes you just have to change the water every now and then."

Raese disagrees with that. In 2010, Raese fully supported a full repeal of the bill. And he still does. "This country, right now, I call it a coalition of taking. They are taking our money, they are taking our power, and they are taking our freedom, and they are giving it government to control. That's unacceptable," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: ObamaCare is the problem, not the solution

Manchin said the goal of ObamaCare is to make healthcare more affordable for everyone which would result in a healthier population and lower healthcare costs.

But Raese deems ObamaCare as part of the problem.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

George Allen: I want to be the deciding vote to repeal ObamaCare

Their differences kicked in as they reacted to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Allen watched news reports about the decision. "I'm disappointed that they had to use all this judicial creativity to call the mandate a tax," Allen said of the majority justices. "Unlike Tim Kaine, who thinks this is a great achievement, I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it."

Kaine said in a statement that insurance premiums and the number of uninsured both rose dramatically during Allen's term in the Senate. "Clearly, inaction was not a solution, and neither are continued calls for repeal. Instead, we must work together to strengthen this existing program and improve cost controls," Kaine said.

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2012 Virginia Senate Debates Jun 28, 2012

Tim Kaine: Inaction was not a solution for healthcare

Their differences kicked in as they reacted to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Allen watched news reports about the decision. "I'm disappointed that they had to use all this judicial creativity to call the mandate a tax," Allen said of the majority justices. "Unlike Tim Kaine, who thinks this is a great achievement, I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it."

Kaine said in a statement that insurance premiums and the number of uninsured both rose dramatically during Allen's term in the Senate. "Clearly, inaction was not a solution, and neither are continued calls for repeal. Instead, we must work together to strengthen this existing program and improve cost controls," Kaine said.

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2012 Virginia Senate Debates Jun 28, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Repeal Obama's health care overhaul

All four candidates pledged to work to repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. But Radtke went further, blaming Allen's "undisciplined campaign" in 2006 for handing control of the Senate to the Democrats, enabling passage of the health care law.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 12, 2012

Ken Cuccinelli: Challenged & won on Constitutionality of ObamaCare's mandate

No one has fought President Barack Obama's health care reform law more effectively than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Republican is spearheading the legal challenges against the bill, especially the "individual mandate" provision that would require most Americans to buy health insurance. Cuccinelli won a major victory in Dec. 2010 when a federal judge found that provision of the law to be unconstitutional, and the case is expected to wind up before the US Supreme Court. Asked about Obama's recent statement that he would support legislation that would allow states to opt out of the mandate if they can find another way to expand coverage without driving up health care costs, Cuccinelli said he doesn't expect much to come from the president's comments. "They put four enormous conditions on what they call the opting out, and one of them that I would point to first is that it has to be deficit-neutral. You think he's going to let the states do that?" Cuccinelli asked. "I doubt it."
Source: PolitiFact.com on 2013 Virginia governor debates Mar 7, 2011

Ken Cuccinelli: ObamaCare has 6 years of costs vs. 10 years of tax revenue

Ken Cuccinelli said on March 1st, 2011 in an appearance on Fox News that the health care bill has "six years of costs against 10 years of tax revenue." The claim that the health care bill charges 10 years of taxes and for only six years of services is widely used by Republicans.

Two of the highest-profile elements of the bill start in 2014, roughly four years after the law took effect. The virtual marketplaces known as health care exchanges would start that year, enabling those who are uninsured to buy insurance. In addition, that's the year for a major expansion in eligibility for Medicaid. And a 10-year phase out of the "doughnut hole"--the gap in Medicare drug coverage--began last year. The Republican argument that benefits don't kick in until 2014 is true if you're looking at those big provisions. But many smaller provisions have already taken effect. And many of the major tax changes will be delayed by a few years. We rate this claim Half True.

Source: PolitiFact.com on 2013 Virginia governor debates Mar 7, 2011

Bob McDonnell: Resist congressional encroachment & socialized medicine

McDonnell successfully steered much of the conversation to federal bills that he said would hurt the state's economy. He said Virginia needs a governor who would resist congressional encroachment, citing "socialized medicine," "micromanaging AIG, GM and some other large businesses," the cap-and-trade proposal to limit greenhouse emissions and "card-check" legislation backed by labor, which would end secret balloting for workers deciding whether to join a union.
Source: Washington Post coverage: 2009 Virginia gubernatorial debate Jul 25, 2009

Creigh Deeds: Make health care accessible & affordable for all Virginians

Creigh has fought to make health care accessible and affordable for all Virginians by crafting innovative legislation to ensure every Virginian has the right to choose which doctor they visit and the ability to purchase prescription dugs at a reasonable price. Creigh has spent nearly two decades in the legislature leading the way in protecting Virginia homeowners and fighting for better and safer health care.
Source: 2009 Gubernatorial campaign website www.deedsforvirginia.com Jul 21, 2009

Bob Wise: $1.5M to provide healthcare access for every child

This Legislature has acted wisely in establishing a Children’s Health Insurance Program to help the uninsured children of working families. But this program has yet to reach many eligible children.

I have included one and a half million dollars in the budget to cover additional children. And we will work aggressively - and cut through red tape - to make sure every child in West Virginia has access to coverage - whether under CHIP, Medicaid, or private insurance. Every child. That’s my goal.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: Improve patient rights by allowing to sue HMOs

We have a patient bill of rights law, so they say, in West Virginia - but patients will tell you, it does not grant them very many rights. I want to fix that. I will present for your consideration a new Patient Bill of Rights, which includes a fast, impartial grievance procedure for disputes, independent reviews of coverage denials, and the right to sue an HMO for negligence that results in harm to a patient.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: More discounts for prescription drugs

We now have a strategy to contain prescription drug costs: we’re going to create a pharmacy benefit program for our poorest senior citizens. We’re going to expand the discount program for seniors above the poverty level. We’re developing a drug benefit plan that could be an add-on for people on Medicare and employer-based insurance. And we’re going to pool the buying power of all the state agencies that purchase medicine and use this to drive a harder bargain with the drug companies.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Mark Warner: Answer seniors’ questions with “Senior Navigator”

Virginia’s senior citizens face plenty of challenges in taking care of their health. Sometimes the toughest challenge is simply getting answers to basic questions, like: How will my medications interact?

“Senior Navigator” will help senior citizens. Senior Navigator is an interactive health-care information web site for seniors on the Internet. But it also creates a network of community-based volunteers who will help seniors navigate the health-care maze.

Source: MarkWarner2001.org, “Bringing Virginia Together” Jan 8, 2001

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Virginia Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Jan 11, 2014