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Senate Marketplace plan saves money

Date published: 5/11/2014

The Virginia House of Delegates should pass the state budget that includes Marketplace Virginia, which is a private insurance based program.

The MPVA is a bipartisan compromise to the national Affordable Care Act and is included in the budget passed by the Virginia state Senate. It is now awaiting state House of Delegates approval.

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee reports that 1 million residents are uninsured, and veterans and their families account for 47,000 (5 percent). Many of these veterans and their spouses have income under 138 percent of poverty.

The MPVA is designed to close the coverage gap and provide insurance to up to 400,000 residents.

The funding for MPVA comes from ACA, which has a funding source, tax and fee increases at the federal level--i.e., federal dollars.

Medicare Part D has no funding source and operates on borrowed money.

The Virginia approach provides insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of residents, and recaptures federal dollars that Virginians already pay in taxes for the ACA.

Conservatively, Virginia would receive $4 million a day in federal funds. Clearly, these federal funds would have a significant positive impact on Virginia's economy.

The marketplace plan also requires recipients to share in the cost of their care, primarily with co-payments. And the plan encourages recipients who are not working to look for employment or engage in job training.

Finally, trust but verify--a statement attributed to the late President Reagan. In that regard, the MPVA has safeguards built in should the federal government renege on the financial commitment to the federal ACA statute.

Further delay by the House of Delegates places an undue burden and a high cost to all Virginia residents. Please pass a state budget that includes Marketplace Virginia now.

Bob Woodson


The writer is a former Stafford County supervisor.