Petersen Report: Senate Addresses Health Care

Petersen Report: Senate Addresses Health Care

Last Thursday, Feb. 20, we rolled out "Marketplace Virginia," an idea conceived by Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan). "Marketplace" takes the $2 billion in taxes paid by Virginians under the Affordable Care Act and keeps it in Virginia, where it can provide insurance for the 400,000 Virginians not currently covered.

These new policy holders, most of whom are currently uninsured, will be able to use their new "Marketplace Virginia" cards to receive medical care that otherwise would have been paid for by hospitals, doctors, and everyday insurance policy holders.

By a 23-17 vote, the Senate incorporated "Marketplace" into its budget, which means that the Commonwealth will be able to save approximately $1 billon between now and 2022, receive $2 billion in revenue from the Feds to cover the 400,000 uninsured Virginians, and create 30,000 new jobs in the health care industry.

"Marketplace Virginia" will only remain in effect as long as the premiums are paid. If the Feds ever cut their commitment in the future, the policies in the program would be canceled. "Marketplace" is a no-brainer. We should not let Virginia tax dollars pay for other states’ health care.

— Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34)