RICHMOND, VA, 11 APRIL 2018: Senate Republicans today expressed disappointment in Governor Ralph S. Northam’s (D) decision to amend Senate Bills 844, 935, and 964 to require the legislation to be reintroduced next year before going into effect.
“We are, obviously, disappointed that Governor Northam has offered amendments that would effectively deny Virginians the opportunity to find more affordable healthcare coverage options this year,” noted Senator Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-Henrico), chief patron of Senate Bills 844 and 935. “Virginians are struggling with the cost of health insurance plans now, and they shouldn’t have to wait a year for this relief.”
“I am genuinely concerned that the politics of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion have caused Governor Northam to attempt to delay these necessary reforms,” noted Senator Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), chief co-patron of Senate Bill 844. “This bill would give Virginians the opportunity to purchase lower cost health coverage plans. With the federal government approving this option, why should Virginians have to wait another year for relief?”
“The cost of healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is a genuine crisis,” said Senator Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr. (R-Chesterfield), who sponsored Senate Bill 964. “My legislation would have given more Virginians the ability to purchase lower-cost plans. They deserve to have affordable coverage, and Governor Northam’s amendments would unnecessarily delay this option for Virginians who need it now.”
In a February 21 editorial, the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote that the Senate Republican Healthcare bills “would make many ordinary Virginians somewhat better off and some ordinary Virginians substantially better off.”
“Senate Republicans crafted a healthcare plan that would have offered overdue relief for working Virginians struggling to afford health insurance under Obamacare,” declared Senate President Pro Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Health. “These three bills are stand-alone and unrelated to the current disagreements over Medicaid expansion. They represented the best opportunity to provide more affordable coverage options for Virginia families.
“It is my hope that Governor Northam will sign these bills and provide that relief, even if his amendments are rejected.”