Senate Democrats Demand Governor Bob McDonnell Pay for Costly, Unnecessary Ultrasounds He Mandated

In letter, Senators Saslaw and McEachin write that the Governor “neglected to mention” this important Democratic concern

Today, Senators Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) wrote a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell, demanding that the Governor address the substantial cost this mandate places on Virginia women.

Senator Saslaw and Senator McEachin wrote to the Governor today, asking him to address this Democratic budget priority. Democrats oppose mandating a medical procedure without either subsidizing it or mandating insurance coverage.

In their letter today, Senators Saslaw and McEachin write, “Not only does this legislation seriously impinge on a doctor’s authority and undermines the doctor-patient relationship, it imposes, through government fiat, an unnecessary financial cost on women.”

“While we disagree with the legislation and with your signing it into law, we believe we both agree on the negative repercussions of unfunded mandates,” they write.

“We also ask you to demonstrate leadership and to work with your Republican colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure that this financial coverage is part of any final budget,” write Senators Saslaw and McEachin.

The full text of today’s letter to the Governor from Senators Saslaw and McEachin is below:

 

The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell
Governor
Patrick Henry Building
1111 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Dear Governor McDonnell,

In your letter of last Friday, you detailed your responses to the Senate Democrats’ budget priorities. While we may not agree with many of your comments, we also noted one concern of our caucus that you neglected to mention.

As you may well recall, the vast majority of the members of our caucus were adamantly opposed to the ultrasound bill, both the initially introduced version and the minimally modified version that passed and you signed into law. Many Virginians also wrote letters, made phone calls, typed emails and protested their sincere and serious objections to this unfunded medical mandate.

However, you chose to sign the bill in spite of the many enumerated concerns. While we disagree with the legislation and with your signing it into law, we believe we both agree on the negative repercussions of unfunded mandates. Not only does this legislation seriously impinge on a doctor’s authority and undermines the doctor-patient relationship, it imposes, through government fiat, an unnecessary financial cost on women.

In our budget priorities, we have sought to remedy this situation by mandating insurance coverage of the ultrasounds and/or having the Commonwealth pay for the ultrasounds. While this will not change the inappropriateness of the legislation, it will, at least, ameliorate the financial burden.

Therefore, we ask you to commit to supporting our Caucus' positions as outlined above as well as in our letter of March 7. We also ask you to demonstrate leadership and to work with your Republican colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure that this financial coverage is part of any final budget. We are confident that if you confer with the members of your party, you can make this a reality.

Moreover, our request in this area does not minimize any of the other priorities as listed in our previous letter. Each and every one of these concerns represents a real need and serious priority for our Democratic caucus.

We appreciate your consideration of this and look forward to working with you to alleviate the dismaying situation caused by the unfunded medical mandate of the ultrasound law.

 

Sincerely,

 

Richard L. Saslaw                                                       A. Donald McEachin

Democratic Leader                                                      Democratic Caucus Chair

Get Email Updates
From Facebook