June 23, 2017 Press Releases and Announcements

Senator George Barker Calls on Gillespie to Take a Position on Trumpcare

by Christina Freundlich

Virginia State Senator George Barker today called on Ed Gillespie to clarify his position on the new Senate Republican version of President Trump’s disastrous health care bill.

Senator Barker urged Mr. Gillespie to oppose this devastating bill or to explain how he would protect Virginians who would lose coverage, Virginians who would see their premiums spike under this bill, and Virginia taxpayers who would be asked to pick up some of the federal responsibility for a more than 50-year federal-state partnership.

 “Ed Gillespie is dodging his support of Trumpcare just like he dodges other pressing issue facing Virginians,” said State Senator Barker. “It doesn’t take much to know that this bill is bad for Virginia families, bad for Virginia businesses, bad for Virginia’s economy, devastating to Virginia’s budget, and just plain bad public policy.

 “If this bill becomes law, it will raise costs for thousands of Virginians, particularly those who need health care the most, including seniors and individuals with disabilities. And why? To give a tax break to the wealthiest.”

 While Democratic and Republican governors around the country today expressed deep concerns today about the new Senate health care bill, Gillespie remained silent. The GOP nominee told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he looked forward to “determining its potential impact on Virginia.”

 But remember -- Ed Gillespie has never backed his support away from Donald Trump or any of the disastrous health care bills that Republicans have proposed. In fact, today a conservative columnist wrote that Mr. Gillespie “loyally supported Trump and moved right” to appease Donald Trump’s and Corey Stewart’s voters.

 Beyond the human catastrophe that would come from this bill and the choices that would be forced on hard-working Virginians, it would deny federal matching dollars that have been provided for more than a half-century to services that the legislature has decided on a strong bipartisan basis are important to the health of Virginians and the health of our economy.

 Senator Barker noted “Virginia has not expanded Medicaid. We have one of the lowest Medicaid expenditure levels in the country. We have operated our Medicaid program effectively and constantly made improvements to the system. Yet this bill attacks Virginia taxpayers, Virginians who already receive Medicaid services, and our Commonwealth that has managed this program effectively and efficiently.”

 Three Republican governors – Ohio Governor John Kasich, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan -- today criticized this Senate version of Trumpcare.

 “With the leadership of Virginia on the line this year, we need all candidates for Governor standing up for Virginia, for Virginia citizens, and for Virginia’s economy” Senator Barker concluded.