Virginia continues to struggle over Medicaid expansion. The state has yet to adopt a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 because the two houses of the state legislature cannot agree on Medicaid expansion; the House of Delegates is firmly opposed while the state Senate is solidly in support. You can contact your state legislators about Medicaid expansion. See http://
A study by the Virginia Hospital Association found that Medicaid expansion will cover close to 400,000 Virginians and create about 30,000 new jobs. The study also found that the cost to Virginia of expanding Medicaid was actually less than the cost of not expanding it.
It appears that the federal government is making progress on the small business section of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The small business section is designed to make it easier for small businesses to buy health insurance for their employees and to qualify for the health insurance tax credit. It looks like the small business section of the Marketplace will be available during open enrollment this fall.
In a 2009 study, Families USA, found that insured families pay about $1000 more each year to cover the uninsured. This is one of the reasons that Medicaid expansion will save small businesses (and all of us) money. The study can be found atwww.familiesusa.org/resources/
There is a federal income tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees. The credit will carry over into the future if it is not all used in one year. IRS form 8941 contains information http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-
One little talked about facet of health care reform was an emphasis on reducing mistakes in hospitals that hurt people’s health and cost money. A new study shows that hospital acquired conditions dropped 9 percent between 2010 and 2012. That translates to 15,000 fewer deaths in hospitals, a $4.1 billion savings in avoidable costs.
National elections will be this fall on Tuesday, November 4. A new law requires every voter to have a photo ID. A Virginia Drivers License is an acceptable form of ID. An employer issued photo ID will also be acceptable if it meets the requirements of the law. Most importantly, each local election office will provide a photo ID to registered voters that do not have another valid ID. More information is available athttp://sbe.virginia.gov/
The Washington Post is reporting that a Gallup Poll just found that the percentage of Americans without health insurance just hit the lowest level since 2008, 15.6 percent See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Virginia now has a “one stop” website for businesses in Virginia. See http://www.bos.virginia.gov/ for information about services, and requirements for business in Virginia.
Richmond Listening Project: The Richmond Area Virginia Organizing Chapter is doing a listening project, talking with folks about the challenges and opportunities of organizing in Richmond. If you are interested in joining the discussion, contact Bob Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him at 804-937-0752.
Virginia Organizing’s Grassroots Gathering will be held the weekend of September 5-7 in Blackstone, Virginia, west of Petersburg. The gathering will bring together community leaders from across the state. There will be lots of workshops and opportunities to learn about organizing on a variety of issues.