Terry McAuliffe on Health Care
Democratic nominee for Governor; previously DNC Chair
The federal government is offering Virginia $21 billion in funding over seven years to expand our Medicaid program. If we don't accept the money, it will simply flow to other states. I believe that Virginia taxpayer money should stay in Virginia. Accepting federal funds for Medicaid has broad bipartisan support: Both conservative & liberal Governors have accepted the funds.
Expanding Medicaid will cover nearly 400,000 uninsured Virginians and create up to 33,000 jobs by 2021. Covering the uninsured for regular visits to the doctor for shots and checkups and life-saving cancer screenings and treatment will also help reduce health care costs for those with insurance already.
"Do you want socialized medicine?" the anesthesiologist asked me, his voice rising.
"Of course not," I said. "However, there are 37 million uninsured people in this country with no access to health care. Is that fair?"
Promote Universal Access and Quality in Health Care
That more than 40 million Americans lack health insurance is one of our society’s most glaring inequities. Lack of insurance jeopardizes the health of disadvantaged Americans and also imposes high costs on everyone else when the uninsured lack preventive care and get treatment from emergency rooms. Washington provides a tax subsidy for insurance for Americans who get coverage from their employers but offers nothing to workers who don’t have job-based coverage.
Markets alone cannot assure universal access to health coverage. Government should enable all low-income families to buy health insurance. Individuals must take responsibility for insuring themselves and their families whether or not they qualify for public assistance.
Finally, to help promote higher quality in health care for all Americans, we need reliable information on the quality of health care delivered by health plans and providers; a “patient’s bill of rights” that ensures access to medically necessary care; and a system in which private health plans compete on the basis of quality as well as cost.