Posted by Mark Ryan, MD March 19, 2012 at 1:39 AM
On March 20th, at 8:00 pm EDT, National Physicians Alliance will be joining with Virginia Organizing to moderate a Twitter chat focused on health care reform in Virginia. As we approach the second anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)–and as the Supreme Court prepares itself for arguments for and against the law’s constitutionality–we will attempt to look at the law’s benefits for Virginians, what the outcomes might be if the law were overturned, and how Virginia should approach critical infrastructure needs to enact the ACA if it survives this Supreme Court challenges.
We will be using the #VAHCR hashtag to facilitate the discussion. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along, but you will need an account to log in if you would like to contribute to the chat.
- If the ACA stays in place, what does it mean for VA? How has the law already benefitted Virginians? Does Virginia have the healthcare capacity (physicians, practices, etc) to accommodate newly insured patients? Although the federal government will help fund the state’s Medicaid expansion, how much of a fiscal strain will htis expansion create? The White House has released statistics indicating how the ACA has already started to benefit Virginians: enhancing these benefits would be a valuable benefit to many, but the law’s full implementation would create some interesting challenges.
- If the ACA were to be overturned, what does this mean for VA and how should the Commonwealth address the issues that the ACA was meant to target? For example, according to this profile of Virginia’s uninsured (PDF) there were nearly 900,00 Virginians under the age of 65 who lacked health insurance in 2009, 2/3 of whom were at or below the 200%lie of the federal poverty level (FPL)–may of whom would gain access to health insurance. How will we make care available to these patients if the ACA’s reforms increasing access to care do not come to fruition?
- One of the key reforms of the ACA are the health insurance exchanges. Governor McDonnell’s Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council recommended creating a health insurance (or health benefit-HBE) exchange outside of current government agencies. (PDF link) Despite this, no legislation to establish a HBE during this most recent General Assembly session was successful. Given that state exchanges are currently required to be certified by January 2013–or else the federal government will set up an exchange–what will the lack of action in the GA mean for Virginia’s HBE? You can learn more about the status of Virginia’s HBE proposals and such here.
No doubt there will be other topics that will come up for discussion, but these are the starting points. Remember: #VAHCR, 8:00 pm EST on Tuesday March 20. See you there!