Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has brought a report to the state’s General Assembly this week regarding his stance on the Affordable Care Act and whether the state should pursue its own insurance exchange or leave the matter in the hands of the federal government. McDonnell is an ardent opponent of the health care reform, calling the legislation “unfounded federal intrusion” into a state’s governance. While he stands opposed to the law, how an insurance exchange might benefit consumers has not been lost on him. Virginian lawmakers are currently deliberating on what the proper course of action will be for the exchange.
The Governor’s report comes from the Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council, a state-run agency that is responsible for investigating the value of insurance exchanges. The report highlights the benefits associated with such a program, as well as the potential negative effects it may have on the state’s insurance market. One of the major points of contention noted in the report is which state agency would end up running the program. Several health insurance companies are campaigning to have the state’s exchange run by the State Corporation Commission in an attempt to ensure they get the most benefit from the program.
A health insurance exchange in Virginia would mean that some 520,000 residents will gain access to health insurance. In accordance with the exchange, these policies would be more affordable yet would not lack any of the essential protections offered by the policies of today.