RICHMOND, VA - Today is the ten-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law, and while Virginia has become a true leader in the region thanks to Democratic lawmakers, President Trump has doubled down on his promise to "terminate" the ACA.
While the ACA enjoys a 55% national favorability rating, Trump has continued to support a lawsuit to overturn the legislation and his repeal of the individual mandate has caused premiums for some plans to be 16% higher than they would be with the mandate in place.
He has promised that he would lower costs and that whoever “wanted health care” under his administration would have it, but his broken promises have harmed the public again and again.
And Trump has remained committed to wanting to repeal the ACA in the middle of a pandemic. Under a full repeal, 642,000 Virginians stand to lose their insurance, according to numbers by the Urban Institute, and an estimated 3,580,300 Virginians would see costs go up if protections for pre-existing conditions are repealed. The Coronavirus pandemic has put these failures in stark relief, as it becomes clear how critical comprehensive coverage, access to critical vaccines, Medicaid expansion, and support for rural hospitals under the ACA are.
But in Virginia, Democrats have been fighting back to fix the healthcare system that Trump has been dismantling at every turn. In 2018 Virginia expanded Medicaid, an incredibly popular plan that expanded health coverage to an additional 400,000 Virginians.
A poll commissioned by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association shows that 71% of Virginians strongly support Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth. That mandate from the public, where voter concern around the cost of healthcare swept Democrats into office, has made some powerful reform possible in the General Assembly this year.
This past legislative session Virginia Democrats voted to:
- Establish a state-run exchange that will stabilize the marketplace for insurance plans and lower costs.
- Set the lowest price cap in the country for insulin. At $50 a month, the cap will provide much needed relief as insulin prices have skyrocketed across the country.
- Prohibit insurers from issuing the junk health insurance plans that the Trump administration has been encouraging. These plans include flimsy coverage and discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.
- Prohibit healthcare providers from discriminating based on gender identity or transgender status, so Virginians have access to equal care at equal cost.
“Every day, the Trump administration’s attacks on the ACA put Virginians at risk. Virginians are fed up with Trump’s attacks on their health care and they elected Democrats to fight back. So we got to work and made affordable health care a priority in this year’s legislative session. The result? Lower costs, better health insurance plans, and a big step towards a world where nobody goes bankrupt for going to the doctor,” said Democratic Party of Virginia Press Secretary Carson Brown.