RICHMOND, VA, 22 MAY 2018: Senate Republicans today said that Governor Ralph S. Northam’s (D) vetoes of Senate Bills 844, 935, and 964 ensure that Virginians will not receive any relief from the high premiums and staggering out-of-pocket expenses inherent in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
“Governor Northam’s vetoes ensure that Virginians looking for more affordable healthcare coverage options anytime in the near future will find there just aren’t any,” said Senator Siobhan S. Dunnavant (R-Henrico), chief patron of Senate Bills 844 and 935. “Judging from the formal explanation he offered when issuing the vetoes, many Virginia families will only be able to find affordable coverage if Congress repeals the ACA. This Governor is committed to the ACA as is, regardless of the expensive burden borne by Virginia families.
“The Governor’s position continues to force some Virginians to pay more for health insurance than they should be paying.”
“With these vetoes, Governor Northam has made clear that the only reforms on healthcare he will consider are those that give the government total control,” noted Senator Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), chief co-patron of Senate Bill 844. “Governor Northam has said ‘no’ to greater consumer choice and increased affordability. These reforms have already been approved by the federal government, so Virginians will be denied relief while millions of their fellow Americans will be receiving it. With these amendments, it is clear that this governor is indifferent to the working families who actually have to pay the outrageous premiums that have been the norm since the passage of Obamacare.”
“It is unfortunate that Governor Northam has turned his back on many Virginians who need access to affordable private health insurance,” stated Senator Glen Sturtevant (R-Midlothian), sponsor of Senate Bill 964. “A little more than a week after two ACA marketplace participants announced plans for double-digit premium increases, Governor Northam has vetoed legislation that could have provided real relief. These vetoes deny Virginians access to insurance policies they can actually afford based on his concern that providing lower cost options will undermine plans people already can’t afford. Especially considering the repeal of the individual mandate, Governor Northam's decision rejects logic in favor of partisan rhetoric.”
In a February 21, 2018, editorial, the Richmond Times-Dispatch said the Senate Republican Healthcare bills “would make many ordinary Virginians somewhat better off and some ordinary Virginians substantially better off.”
“Virginians looking for relief from higher health insurance premiums and outrageous deductibles are not likely to receive it given the action of the administration,” remarked Senate President Pro Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Health. “Virginians can ‘thank’ the decision to veto these bills for the higher premiums they’ll be seeing during open enrollment this Fall. Senate Republicans remain committed to ensuring Virginians have options for more affordable coverage and will continue to offer legislation that would give our citizens every option available that would reduce their costs.”