Yesterday the House voted to pass HB1769 to cooperate with the federal government for the implementation of ObamaCare with a vote of 70 - 30.
The Senate companion bill, SB922, passed the Senate with a vote of 31 - 8.
Delegate Terry Kilgore, the chief patron, said "ObamaCare is the law of the land".
Where have we heard that before?
States have the option of setting up a state exchange, a partnership exchange, or defaulting to the federal exchange. Gov. Bob McDonnell says creation of a health benefits exchange for Virginians to buy affordable health insurance is a bad idea, but his administration is working quietly with the federal government to make the new system work.
The start up costs are estimated to be $1.2 million. The original language of the bill made the provisions contingent on the federal government covering those costs.
However, at the recommendation of the SCC, the bill was amended to require the start up cost to be covered by the state. No one even knows what the ongoing operating costs will be or if the federal government will ever cover any of those costs. And we all know how government always underestimates the cost of everything.
Even before this bill was introduced, the administration asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for $4.8 million to set up the technology for connecting Virginia's human services agencies with the new benefits exchange, regardless of who runs it.
Meanwhile, the Governor has proposed a budget amendment in this session that will reduce all hourly waged employees of every branch of government in the Commonwealth to a 29-hour work week.
Isn't it ironic that the General Assembly pushes ObamaCare down our throats but then reduces their own workforce to avoid it?
Private businesses have already cut their staff to below the required maximum of 50 or have cut their full time employees down to part time.
I can't even begin to fathom the devastating impact this will have on Virginia's economy.
All this and the federal government hasn't even set up a federal exchange and infrastructure for Virginia yet.
Isn't it premature to pass a bill to provide the expensive functionality of something not yet funded or created by the federal government, especially when you consider the devastating impact this will have on Virginia's economy?
SB922 is referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Labor.
Please copy and paste the email addresses of its members and urge the to oppose SB922.