Two business groups oppose each other on whether to allow thousands of uninsured access to a Medicaid kind of system for health care in Virginia in the United States.
On one side The Chamber of Commerce affirmed its support to go with a plan where government backed health care would be provided to thousands of Virginians on the lines of a Medicaid option.
AdvertisementLater, from the State Capitol room an official from the traditionally conservative National Federation of Independent Business along with the House of Delegates Republican leaders stood against the plan.
Barry DuVal - Chief of the Chamber and a former mayor along with fellow business leaders were in support of the concept. DuVal offered a 11-point plan mirroring the "Marketplace Virginia". The plan proposes on using $1.7 billion annual amount which is the amount recovered by federal taxes to be used to take care of uninsured Virginians health care - 250,000 of them.
One key difference between the groups is the chamber wants an audit of the state's Medicaid program, which is something House Republicans have proposed.
F. Kevin Reynolds, regional president of Cardinal Bank, a financial institution with locations in Northern Virginia, Washington and Maryland, is also in favor of the plan. Noting employers already pay health-care-related taxes and that Virginia can recover billions of those dollars, Reynolds said the choice is "very clear."
"Let's do the right thing," Reynolds said. "We understand it's politically difficult, but the business case is compelling."
Gary McCollum of Cox Communications stressed the need of a healthy work force."It's a practical business principle approach that in the long run will help all of our businesses and all of our citizens of the commonwealth."
According to the National Federation of Independent Business's Nicole Riley, "not everybody in the business community thinks expanding Medicaid is a good idea." Her group represents 5,500 Virginia small businesses - they employ 10 or fewer workers, on average - and she said a survey of them concluded 81 percent of member employers oppose Medicaid expansion.
Only employers with more than 50 employees are mandated to provide health insurance, or face a penalty, under the Affordable Care Act.
Source: Julian Walker, 25th February
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