Virginia Organizing Project Supports Healthcare Reform
We’re closer than we’ve been to meaningful health care reform in 60 years. This reform will provide accessible, affordable, quality health care for ALL Virginians. Legislation has been passed by three House Committees and one Senate Committee that meets these goals.
The Virginia Organizing Project and Health Care for America Now members across the state have attended Town Hall meetings, written letters to the editor, canvassed with their neighbors, and made phone calls to urge our Members of Congress to support this legislation. We MUST keep this up!
Please call 1-877-264-4226 and ask Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and all of our 11 U.S. Representatives to support this health care legislation.
Also, please contact us if you want to do any of the actions listed above and check our calendar for events near you.
More information on the legislation being considered:
Current Components of the House Health Reform Bill (H.R. 3200)
* Beginning in 2013, all legal residents required to have health insurance or to pay the lesser of 2.5 percent of income or the average plan premium; Medicaid eligibility extended to persons to 133 percent of FPL (federal poverty level).
* Premium assistance and cost-sharing assistance through the exchange (sliding scale up to 400 percent FPL).
* Secretary of Health and Human Services defines package of “essential health services” to be covered in all plans (takes effect 2013 inside exchange and 2018 for employers outside exchange).
* Immigrants: Legal residents eligible for assistance with premiums and cost-sharing through exchange. Retains five-year wait for Medicaid benefits for certain adults. No change to CHIPRA option for states to cover legal immigrant children and pregnant women. Undocumented persons are ineligible for affordability credits.
* No more deductibles or co-pays for preventive care. (2010 for Medicare; 2013 all)
* No higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions, gender, or occupation. (2013)
* Annual cap on out-of-pocket expenses ($5,000 individual; $10,000 family). (2013)
* Oral, hearing, and vision care included for kids. (2013)
* Seniors have a $500 reduction in the Medicare drug benefit “donut hole” (2011) and ultimate phase-out of donut hole. (2023)
* The House bill will be financed through achieving significant efficiencies and savings in the health care system and applying a surtax on people with income greater than $350,000 a year.
GREATER CHOICE AND QUALITY
* A range of public and private plan options available through the “exchange,” although eligibility for the exchange is limited to individuals and small employers (less than 10 employees: 2013); (less than 20 employees: 2014). Eligibility for the exchange may be expanded in later years.
* Persons in the exchange, including individuals eligible for affordability credits, can choose from all public and private plans. (2013)
* The public plan will meet the same benefit requirements and comply with the same insurance market reforms as private plans. (2013)
* Plan premiums would vary based on local health costs. (2013)
ACHIEVING EQUITY IN HEALTH OUTCOMES
* Strengthen and expand programs that promote diversity in the health workforce. (2012)
* Require Health and Human Services Secretary to identify key health and health care disparities as part of a national prevention and wellness strategy. (2012)
* Tasks forces on preventive services will consider racial and ethnic health disparities when developing and disseminating evidence-based recommendations for preventive services. (2013)
* At least half the funding in a new preventive health-services grant program will focus on addressing health disparities. (2013)
* Enhance scholarship programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. (2012)
STABILITY AND PEACE OF MIND
* No more retroactive denials of coverage by insurers (rescissions). (2011)
* No more coverage denials for pre-existing conditions. (2013)
* No more lifetime limits on how much insurance companies will spend on your health benefits. (2013)