The VHRI has still not posted its minutes on the website but we feel confident that the active purchaser model has been defeated within the VHRI. The group will issue a report to the Governor on October 1 that should include all of their recommendations so we may know more then. See the VHRI website http://www.hhr.virginia.gov/
Many allies of the VMSA are suggesting continuing the fight for a better health benefits exchange in the General Assembly next year. The leadership team of the VMSA will be talking about this in the next few weeks.
Wendell Potter, author and former health insurance executive will be speaking about health care reform in Virginia Beach the evening of Monday, October 3. Potter has written Deadly Spin about his time as a health insurance executive. He is an expert on health care reform. The event is sponsored by Virginia Organizing and will be in the Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach.
When Congress passed health care reform last year they built in a couple years of implementation. The new law will not be fully in effect until January of 2014. At that time the new health insurance exchanges will start operating. In 2014 there will also be subsidies for those struggling to buy insurance and health insurance companies will have to spend more money on medical care. See http://www.kff.org/
The Small Business Majority has developed a website http://healthcoverageguide.
Part of the presidents job bill includes a payroll tax cut for most small businesses. A factsheet on the impacts of the job bill in Virginia is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
This fall the entire Virginia General Assembly is up for election. The last day to register to vote is October 17 and election day is November 8.
As of October 1 there will be new limits on debt card swipe fees. The new limit will be 26 cents per swipe. The national Main Street Alliance was very active in this fight. See their website http://mainstreetalliance.org/ for more information.
The national Main Street Alliance is asking businesses to sign onto a statement about corporate money in politics. The statement is at http://mainstreetalliance.org/
While setting up an effective health insurance exchange will help small businesses save money, long term savings will also come thru having a healthier community. The federal health care reform takes two steps on this. First, new insurance plans are required to provide a large list of preventive care with no co-pay or deductible . See http://www.healthcare.gov/law/
The Obama Administration has launched a new program to encourage small businesses. The new program is called Start Up America and is part of a wide effort to get more money into small business. Details of the plan and link to similar programs can be seen at http://www.whitehouse.gov/
These updates are a service of the Virginia Main Street Alliance. Contact Bob Becker with comments or questions.