If Republicans are elected in Virginia in November, they plan to gut the Affordable Care Act. The health care law provides for nearly universal coverage. Its demise would be a disaster for the average American.
Requiring all Americans to participate in and to contribute to the cost of the nation's health care drives down the average cost of medical care. People will be able to afford preventive care, where before they waited until an emergency and ended up in the emergency room. Emergency room care is the most expensive care. The cost of the care for the uninsured was passed on to those with insurance, driving up insurance premiums. Now there will be a larger pool of insured sharing the nation's health care bill.
Ken Cuccinelli, the presumptive Republican candidate for governor, has made no secret of his desire to gut the Affordable Care Act. As attorney general, he had Virginia challenge the law as unconstitutional before the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court ruled that the law was constitutional, the Republicans retreated to a different line of attack. They vowed to fight the expansion of Medicaid coverage in the various states. Their argument is that Medicaid expansion will cost the states too much money. They ignore the fact that the federal government will pay for the Medicaid expansion. They also ignore the fact that independent studies show that such expansion of benefits actually lowers the overall costs to the states.
Another line of attack against the act is to attempt to strike down provisions pertaining to health care for women. Gov. Bob McDonnell has blocked family planning provisions under the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia. This is a continuation of the Virginia Republican policy war against women. It goes all the way back to Gov. McDonnell's attempt to force women to summit to ultra sounds. Such a line of attack not only weakens the Affordable Care Act, but also adversely affects in a disproportionate way poor women. Poor women who need family planning assistance will be denied this service through their Medicaid coverage.
Warren D. Golightly, Winchester