Scott Commends Northam on Veto of Legislation to Expand Association Health Plans in Virginia

May 20, 2020
Press Release

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced he would veto HB795/SB235 - legislation from the Virginia General Assembly that would expand access to association health plans and undermine core protections of the Affordable Care Act in Virginia.

“I commend Governor Northam for vetoing HB795/SB235 – legislation that would expand access to association health plans and undermine core protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). When the ACA was enacted, the guiding principle was that everyone should pay the same for insurance, regardless of gender or pre-existing conditions with slight adjustments only allowed for age and a history of smoking. Tax credits are available to ensure that premiums are affordable. Association health plans (AHP) allow groups with significantly lower health costs to form a separate insurance pool with lower premiums. Simple arithmetic requires everyone left behind in the larger marketplace to pay more. As more AHPs are formed, people with pre-existing conditions, women of child-bearing age and seniors will be stuck in the general insurance pool with ever-increasing prices. Although there are more consumer protections in the vetoed legislation than in most AHPs, the fact is that only those associations with significantly lower projected health care costs would be viable. If the projected health care costs are not significantly lower, no one would buy the product; everyone would stay in the general insurance pool. Accordingly, as you increase the number of AHPs, you increase the number of people in the general insurance pool who pay more. Congress has grappled with expanding AHPs for years now and research shows these proposals are a slightly better deal for a few, a bad deal for many, and a very bad deal for women of child-bearing age, people with pre-existing conditions and seniors.”

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