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Senator Chase- An approach to Medicaid – PAUSE this year

Dear Senator Chase,

 
    We think the General Assembly should take a strategic pause on Medicaid this session, and then work toward a better plan for 2019 to get control of spending while improving the quality of care, and “covering” more people.  It can be done, but not by expanding Medicaid or adding more people to original Medicaid.  
 
    Our message is this: please don’t enact huge, sweeping healthcare programs this year, but instead let us work together in the coming months to develop common sense reforms that will be sustainable in the long run and better for Virginians. I’m writing on behalf of VQH but I know that other grassroots groups have similar ideas. 
 
    We want Virginia to take back control from the federal government, which has imposed failed health policies and made healthcare unaffordable for individuals, providers and government itself.  If Congress won’t repeal the PPACA, then Virginia MUST insist on taking steps to free taxpayers from ever increasing costs and stifling regulations.  
 
    Several current bills would start the ball rolling on this take-back and should be passed.  HB 338HB 368HB 1280 SB 934 SB 935 are examples.
 
    Other bills would do the exact opposite (i.e. create more government control, more mandates, and increase the burden on taxpayers.)   Among those are SB 781SB 844,SB 845SB 964, and a slew of House bills.
 
     Lower income Virginians would be better off getting help (vouchers) to make their own decisions and choices for health care.  Though I don’t have data to back this up, many of us are convinced (by market principles and the Constitution) that such a plan would save taxpayers money, let more people have “coverage” and improve the quality of care.  
 
     Couple this with increasing the number of direct primary care and direct-pay practices across Virginia. Incentivize doctors to transform their practices, and encourage lower income Virginians to use DPC.  Also expand HSAs especially for lower income individuals. We have to get back to people having choices through free enterprise and market competition in the health industry.
 
    In the short term, we’d like to see Speaker Cox convince the House and the Governor to agree to a strategic pause on Medicaid this session, to give all of us time to develop better solutions. 
 
     

Nancy Piotter
Executive Director
Virginians for Quality Healthcare
Twitter: @VaQualHC
(703) 597-1399

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