The Virginia Main Street Alliance is a network of Virginia small business owners working to build a new voice on issues that matter to our businesses and our communities. We believe there’s more to success in small business than the short-term bottom line. Small business values run deeper than that. We believe small businesses thrive when communities thrive – our fates are linked. We believe small business owners aren’t represented like we deserve in Washington, D.C. or in Richmond and we’re setting about to change that.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association just released a study that shows that expanding Medicaid will cost the state LESS money than not expanding it. Because the federal government will pick up most of the cost, and because the state spends a good deal now on indigent care, expanding Medicaid will cost very little, while not expanding it may drive up costs a good deal. Plus, the study showed that health insurance costs for those with coverage should go down by slightly less than one percent as fewer folks are using uncompensated care. Finally, expansion should add about 30,000 jobs. The report is available at http://www.vhha.com/medicaideconomicimpact.html.
The Virginia Health Reform Initiative, the task force the governor appointed to oversee health care reform, will meet on Wednesday, June 12, from 1-4 p.m. in House Room D of the General Assembly Building in downtown Richmond. The Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, which will decide on Medicaid expansion in Virginia, will meet on Monday, June 17 at 1 p.m., General Assembly Building, House Room D.
Most of the major provisions of health care reform take affect at the end of this year. There is still a need for letting people know what is coming. Polls generally find that three-fourths of the people who would benefit from health care reform were unfamiliar with it. Small businesses will be able to buy health insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplace (formerly called a Health Benefits Exchange) this fall but if they don’t know it is an option, it won’t help at all.
Health care reform requires all employers to provide a notice about health care reform to their employees byOctober 1, 2013. Two draft notices (one if you offer insurance, one if you don't) are available at:
According to an aide to Senator Dick Durbin any business may now put a minimum $10 or less for credit card purchases. He also says businesses may have a discount for cash, check or debit card purchases. The aid spoke on a conference call for the national Main Street Alliance.
As part of the overall health care reform effort, Virginia has loosened up the limits on the work that Physicians Assistants and Dental Hygienists are allowed to do. Under several new laws, these professionals are allowed to do the work they are trained to do without a doctor looking over their shoulder.
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