Friday, September 11, 2009

McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli Focus on Health Care

McDonnell for Governor Press Release

Ticket Unveils: “Future of Health Care in Virginia: Smart Health Care Choices”

-Candidates address concerns with federal legislation and lay out principles that will guide reforms including prevention, controlling costs, and market-based solutions -

Vienna - Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Senator Ken Cuccinelli, Republican candidate for Attorney General, today laid out their vision for health care reform in Virginia. The Republican ticket mates laid out a vision for health care system reform based upon six key principles.

    1. All Virginians should have access to affordable and high quality health care, even those with pre-existing conditions.

    2. Incentives for coverage of wellness care and prevention must be provided to reduce the occurrence of much more expensive care later on.

    3. Government should concentrate its resources to ensure those Virginians most in need have access to high quality health care, while also providing incentives to Virginia employers, employees and citizens to obtain affordable health insurance.

    4. Virginia should focus on reforming the health care system to lower the cost of health care and reduce the growth in health care spending.

    5. Virginia should provide encouragement and resources for family members that provide care and support for their loved ones.

    6. Reform should be bi-partisan, promote innovation, quality and cost-effectiveness without adversely affecting employment opportunities and economic growth.

The plan includes the following highlights:

  • Help Individuals and Employers Afford Low-Cost Health Insurance
  • Encourage and Expand Health Savings Accounts
  • Give Incentives to Families to Prepare for Long Term Care Needs
  • Expand the Supply of Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians
  • Expand Assistance For and Through Safety Net Providers
  • Controlling Cost and Improving Patient Safety and Health Promotion through Health Information Technology
  • Maintain the Current Cap on Medical Malpractice Insurance
  • Focus on Prevention
  • Reform Medicaid by Auditing the Department of Medical Assistance Services

Speaking about reforms for the health care system, McDonnell remarked, “The health care debate going on in Washington will directly affect every citizen in Virginia. Candidates for our state’s highest office have an obligation to make it clear where they stand on this crucial issue. I am doing that. While my opponent would unfortunately spend the next four years advancing the agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, on this issue and so many others, I will be focused on doing what is right for the people of Virginia, regardless of who runs Congress. The health care proposals being discussed in Washington could raise costs for those who already have insurance and harm small business owners, making it harder to create jobs. It could shift millions of Virginians from their private insurance into a government run system, raise taxes and increase our deficit even further. Mandates for increased eligibility may increase Virginia’s Medicaid budget by hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years. Governors from across the country, and from both parties, have expressed concerns about these mandates that could cripple state governments already reeling from layoffs and deep cuts to critical services. As Governor, I will support bipartisan solutions that protect jobs, protect access to affordable healthcare and that don’t force costs back on consumers or our state budget. In today’s economy, Washington D.C should not place yet another burden on our struggling businesses, families and state budgets.”

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling remarked, “Our health care reform program puts its emphasis on the things that matter most. By getting more Virginians insured and improving health care access for the uninsured we can make certain that quality health care is more available and more affordable for more Virginians. By promoting wellness and disease prevention and reforming Medicaid we can reduce costs and make certain that we are spending our limited health care dollars more efficiently. And by placing a greater emphasis on mental health care we can address important issues that have been neglected for far too long. These are common sense reforms that will improve health care in Virginia, while enabling consumers to remain in charge of their health care choices. We can improve access and affordability to quality health care without turning our health care system over the federal government and destroying the choice and quality that consumers rightly demand.”

Senator Ken Cuccinelli noted, “As Attorney General, I look forward to working with Bob to develop performance measurement standards for Medicaid to weed out inefficiencies, to decrease our costs while increasing the quality of care, and to hold government accountable by showing how our tax dollars are being spent. I will also continue and expand the work of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the AG’s office to reduce fraud, thereby lowering healthcare costs for Virginians.”

Bob McDonnell’s Record of Results

While serving in the U.S. Army, McDonnell was a medical service corps officer. After the Army, Bob worked as a manager for American Hospital Supply Corporation. As a Delegate, Bob served on the health, welfare and institutions committee, and he fought to preserve physician, nurse, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner scholarship and loan repayment programs. He also patroned legislation to add a representative of health care employers to the Virginia Workforce Council. He worked to secure funding for trauma care at hospitals with trauma units and sponsored legislation to extend a tax credit to individual physicians who provide health care through a free health care clinic.

As Attorney General, McDonnell worked to pass legislation codifying Virginia’s Secure Commonwealth Panel and ensured there are at least two physicians with knowledge of public health on the panel, and his Government and Regulatory Reform Task Force Healthcare Working Group reviewed nearly 2,600 pages of regulations governing various aspects of health care, and made approximately 100 recommendations for change to the regulations.

Bill Bolling’s Record of Results

As a member of the State Senate, Bill Bolling was regarded as one of the General Assembly’s health care experts. He sponsored legislation that created the children’s health insurance program in Virginia, and served on the Senate’s Committee on Education and Health. Bolling also chaired the Senate’s Subcommittee on Health Care and the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Health Care. As Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling has continued his emphasis on health care, sponsoring major health care initiatives that dealt with cervical cancer, asthma awareness and cardiovascular fitness.

Ken Cuccinelli’s Record of Results

Ken Cuccinelli has been a member of the State Senate since 2002, representing western Fairfax County. Senator Cuccinelli has been a staunch supporter of medical malpractice reforms and consistently supported free market solutions to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible, using mechanisms such as the legislation he sponsored in 2009 to allow businesses and individuals to purchase more affordable health insurance plans across state lines (SB1331, 2009).

Ken Cuccinelli is a small business owner and partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day, PLLC, in Fairfax. In the State Senate, he serves on the influential Senate Courts of Justice Committee, Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee, Transportation Committee and Local Government Committee.

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