VIRGINIA MAIN STREET ALLIANCE UPDATE #7, May 8, 2011
The Virginia Main Street Alliance will be joining other citizens groups in a press conference on Tuesday, May 10 before the appeals court hearing on the two lawsuits challenging the federal health care reform law. Richmond restaurateur Kevin Wilson will be speaking for VMSA. Two lawsuits will be heard that day, the well know state challenge to reform and a case from Lynchburg. The hearings and press conference will be in the Lewis Powell Courthouse in the 900 block of East Main Street.
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 Health Reform Initiative (VHRI) will be meeting on Thursday, May 26 at 10:00 am at the Department of Medical Services in Richmond. VHRI is the governor appointed body that will be overseeing implementation of health care reform in Virginia. The main topic of the May 26 meeting will be governance of the health insurance exchanges. Future meetings are set for July 15 and September 9.
More information about VHRI is available at www.hhr.virginia.gov/Initiatives/HealthReform/
Virginia has announced that, after polling insurance companies, the state will NOT be seeking a waiver from the requirement that insurance companies spend at least 80% of the money they collect in premiums on health care. A copy of a memo from the Bureau of Insurance can be found at http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/cons/files/mlr_comm.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.
As part of the transition to covering people with pre-existing conditions, the federal government has set up a Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan in Virginia. Anyone who has been uninsured for at least six months and has been turned down because of a pre-existing condition can purchase health insurance through this plan. Monthly premiums run from $156 to $518.
Go to http://www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/preexisting/index.html for more information.
There is a federal tax credit for businesses that provide health insurance for their employees. For more information go to http://www.healthcare.gov/ and click on the link for small business tax credits on the bottom left.
The Virginia Main Street Alliance is currently conducting a survey of small businesses. The survey is about options the state has on implementing health care reform. The survey is designed both to gather input from small businesses and to educate businesses about options the state has. You can take the survey online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/online-bb.
Virginia Main Street Alliance, A Project of Virginia Organizing