Delegate Ibraheem S. Samirah Introduces Legislative Plan for Universal Healthcare Coverage in the Commonwealth

Press Release / January 6, 2020

Contact: Rob Cline, robert@samirah4virginia.com

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Today, Delegate Ibraheem S. Samirah (D-86) introduces four new bills in the House of Delegates that would pave the way towards universal healthcare coverage in Virginia. Full descriptions of each bill are below. 

“As a healthcare provider, I understand why America—and Virginia—is going broke trying to get the care we need,” said Delegate Samirah. “When 25% of people say that they or a family member had to avoid getting serious medical care last year because they couldn’t afford it, it’s time to get serious about ensuring healthcare as a human right.”

“Single-payer is the gold standard of reforms, but the federal government stands in the way of states that want to try and implement their own single-payer system. My bills address that setback and offer a public option that can ease the burden of healthcare for thousands who fall in the coverage gap, or for those who are making financial sacrifices to keep themselves insured.”

Bill descriptions:

  • HB530 would establish a quality, affordable Virginian public option that could be purchased on the individual marketplace. Reimbursement rates for providers would be set at Medicare rates, bringing down costs for patients and making the plans the cheapest option for thousands of Virginians.
  • HJ49 calls on Congress, and Virginia’s congressional delegation, to reform the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which currently prevents states from pursuing single-payer healthcare.
  • HB529 would commission an independent study into the comparative costs of different approaches to universal healthcare coverage, and would analyze legal and logistical barriers to acquiring necessary administrative waivers from the federal government. 
  • HB531 would pick up where the Affordable Care Act leaves off by providing health insurance premium subsidies for Virginians who make an income that is between 4 and 5 times the poverty line. 

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