The Senate has passed a bipartisan bill to close the coverage gap, but the bill is stalled in the House of Delegates. It’s important to encourage our delegate, Ed Scott, to support this legislation in the House. Sen. Donald McEachin, chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, has suggested the talking points below to help in framing conversations with Del. Scott. Del. Scott can be reached by phone (540-825-6400) or email (DelEScott@house.state.va.us).
Marketplace Virginia Talking Points
Marketplace Virginia is a bipartisan compromise, and it has broad support across the state.
Many outside groups are in favor, including:
- The Fairfax, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke Chambers of Commerce
- The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA)
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
The state Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the “private option” approach in principle, and similar initiatives have won bipartisan support in states like Arkansas and Iowa.
In the face of such broad agreement, House Republicans can’t just keep saying ‘no’ and hoping that the issue goes away. As long as hundreds of thousands of Virginians are trapped in a coverage gap, that’s not going to happen.
Marketplace Virginia would help hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians.
One in eight Virginians—about a million of us—lacks health insurance. 70% belong to families where someone is working, and many more would work if they could.
Up to 400,000 fall into a coverage gap, meaning that they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to buy coverage out-of-pocket through the insurance exchange.
Without Marketplace Virginia, most families and individuals in the coverage gap have no other hope of gaining access to insurance. As a result, many won’t receive the care they need when they fall sick. At best, they’ll find help in the emergency rooms of their local hospitals—but only after delaying treatment until their illnesses become far worse than necessary.
Marketplace Virginia will help Virginians avoid hundreds of preventable deaths per year.
Marketplace Virginia would greatly enhance the state’s economy.
The plan creates 30,000 jobs across the state—many in exactly the areas that need them most.
- Many of these would be well-paying, middle class jobs — the kind of jobs that we desperately need.
Marketplace Virginia would also keep endangered rural hospitals open for business.
- These hospitals are often the engines that drive their local economies.
- In many areas, they are the largest employers, supplying hundreds or thousands of much-needed (and irreplaceable) jobs.
Marketplace Virginia would also produce billions of dollars’ worth of economic impact each and every year.
- The more than $1.7 billion that Marketplace Virginia would return to the state every year would have ripple effects throughout the economy, creating jobs and spurring growth across the Commonwealth.