Democratic Senators Respond to Rejection of Chamber Plan by Republican Legislators

RICHMOND, VA – Democratic senators responded today to the rejection by the NFIB and Republican legislators of the compromise proposal to create a private option plan to expand health care issued by business leaders and Virginia Chambers of Commerce.

Majority Leader Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, "It comes as no surprise that the Republicans continue to come up empty handed when it comes to addressing the health care needs of nearly 400,000 low income Virginians. Just say 'No' is their one size fits all 'solution' for their hard working and most vulnerable constituents. No to those most in need - no healthcare, no hospitals in rural communities. In the meantime, as part time legislators, they enjoy the full time benefits of a state supported health insurance plan. And I can't imagine, what could possibly be the logic behind leaving tax money paid by Virginians to be used in other states to improve their healthcare delivery systems. Is it any wonder businesses think long and hard about their presence in the Commonwealth?"

Said Caucus Chair Sen. Donald McEachin (D - Henrico), “Republicans today attacked an imaginary plan that bears little resemblance to the actual Marketplace Virginia. They said Virginia taxpayers will end up paying for coverage expansion, ignoring the fact that our plan comes with a built-in kill switch in case federal funding dries up. They also accused us of D.C.-style politics, forgetting that our plan is a bipartisan compromise with broad support both in Richmond and across the Commonwealth.”

Said Senate Finance Co-Chairman Sen. Chuck Colgan (D – Prince William), “Marketplace Virginia is a bipartisan compromise that has won widespread support, and Chambers of Commerce from all around Virginia, including those from Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Fairfax, have endorsed the underlying principle — a ‘private option’ approach that uses private insurance companies to provide coverage.”

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