May 4, 2017

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Latest News, Virginia

Where Do VA-GOV GOP Candidates Stand on Trumpcare?

2017 Virginia gov race will be first major statewide race since House vote; why are GOP candidates silent?

Virginia’s gubernatorial election in November will be watched as a national barometer on the midterm elections. But Virginia’s 3 Republican gubernatorial candidates have remained completely silent on a major issue likely to dominate midterms: the House GOP health care bill.

Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart, and Frank Wagner have refused to take a position on the House bill passed today, which could define the midterm elections.

“It’s time for Gillespie, Stewart, and Wagner to tell Virginia voters where they stand on Trumpcare,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “If this bill becomes law, the next governor of Virginia will decide whether to jack up rates on people with pre-existing conditions. Are Gillespie, Stewart and Wagner too afraid of Trump to speak up?”

Virginia’s 7-member Republican delegation was split on the bill, with Rep. Barbara Comstock, a close Gillespie ally, voting against it. 

The law is projected to kick 24 million Americans off their insurance, cut $880 billion in Medicaid funding, raise premiums for older Americans and threaten protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

If passed, governors will be left to deal with the gap in Medicaid funding, and will have the option to waive protections for pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2019, governors will have the option to see waivers that allow insurance companies to dramatically raise premiums on people with pre-existing conditions.  In Virginia alone, an estimated 564,700 will lose coverage.

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Background: 

March 2017: Gillespie’s Spokesperson Would Not Answer if Gillespie Supported the GOP Health Care Plan. According to Politico, “Campaign Pro surveyed a handful of Republican candidates who are either in or considering statewide bids on the House GOP health care bill. Here’s what they had to say. Virginia Ed Gillespie’s spokesman Matt Moran: ‘Ed believes Obamacare is a disaster that should be completely repealed and replaced – and done so without punishing taxpayers in fiscally-responsible states like Virginia. Ed believes that Congress and the Trump Administration should work together to pass a conservative plan that fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with healthcare system that saves taxpayer dollars, increases affordability and gives consumers the choices they deserve.’” [Politico, 3/9/17]

 March 2017: Stewart Called for Obamacare Repeal, Not “Obamacare-Lite.” According to his Facebook page, Stewart wrote, “We need to completely remove the government out of our healthcare system. Only removing parts of Obamacare still leaves us with Obamacare. Sign here if you want to repeal the whole thing!” [Facebook, CoreyStewartVA, 3/7/17]

March 2017: Wagner Said Good that Republicans Are Keeping Their Word on Replacement Bill for Obamacare, But Plan “Needs a Lot of Work!” According to Wagner’s Facebook page, “Good to see the Republicans are keeping their word but, the plan needs a lot of work! http://www.foxnews.com/…/house-republicans-release-long-awa…”  [Facebook, FrankWagnerforGovernor, 3/6/17]