The next meeting of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (the group planning how Virginia will do health care reform) will be on Friday, July 15 at the Virginia Department of Health Professions, 9960 Mayland Drive, actually in Henrico County. The focus of the meeting is about how the state is going to save Virginians money on health insurance costs thru the health insurance exchange. More info at http://www.hhr.virginia.gov/Initiatives/HealthReform/.
One of the major decisions that the VHRI will make on July 15 is whether the exchange will be an “active purchaser” of insurance. An “active purchaser” model means that the exchange will use its size to actively negotiate better rates. In our survey of small businesses the “active purchaser” model is supported by 2/3 of small businesses.
We believe that the VHRI may choose to support an “active purchaser model” for the exchange. We want to make sure that they hear from business people about how this model can save money. We are asking small businesses to send an email to the VHRI about this issue. Emails should be sent to: VHRI@governor.virginia.gov You should have gotten an email last week with details about the emails. If you would like that email please reply to this email and request that we re-send it.
The Commonwealth Institute has a good background piece on the Health Insurance Exchange. http://thecommonwealthinstitute.org/Portals/16/Health/healthexchanges.jan.10.v3.lowres.pdf
We have been surveying small business owners about health care reform options here in Virginia. While we will be continuing to survey businesses, we will be releasing an interim report on the survey next week. For the interim report we have surveyed 299 small businesses about health care reform options. 2/3 of those surveyed support the “active purchaser” model of a Health Insurance Exchange, and better than ¾ support tighter regulations on health insurance companies.
The Virginia Main Street Alliance is a project of Virginia Organizing, a statewide citizens group. Virginia Organizing will be holding its annual meeting in Richmond on Saturday, August 13. VMSA members are encouraged to attend this event.
The VHRI (Virginia Health Reform Initiative) has a brief study on its website about the economic benefits of health care reform. The study finds that there will be a short term loss of jobs (the state will lose 15,000 jobs between now and 2013) because of health care reform. However, by 2014 health care reform will start adding jobs in the state and Virginia will see a net gain of 25,000 jobs (a total gain of 40,000 jobs) by 2018. The study is available at www.hhr.virginia.gov/Initiatives/HealthReform/MeetingResources/NovemberMeetingDocs/EconomicImpact.pdf
The Virginia Small Business Development Centers are holding workshops for small businesses on a number of topics ranging from marketing to copyright laws. These workshops are located all over the state and at almost all times of the day. Go to www.virginiasbdc.org/events.aspx for more information.
This update is a service of the Virginia Main Street Alliance. The Virginia Main Street Alliance is a project of Virginia Organizing.