On March 10, Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke at a roundtable at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth about health care coverage and expanding Medicaid coverage. Nearly 40 medical professionals, hospital administrators, community leaders, elected officials and press gathered for the event.
McAuliffe warned, “Hospitals will close and people will die,” if lawmakers don’t act.
The Governor explained that Virginia taxpayers will lose $2 billion a year.” Over 400,000 individuals are going to the ER for care and somebody is going to pay for that,” McAuliffe said. The General Assembly adjourned but the Governor has called a special session March 24 to complete the budget plan. He’s hoping that legislators adopt “Marketplace Virginia,” designed to extend coverage to low-income Virginians.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has pushed for expansion. Executive Vice President Ira Agricola attended the Maryview session with McAuliffe, and said, “Perhaps a two week cooling off period is important for the General Assembly to come hear from their constituents who make clear their positions on this very important issue," he said.
Mark Kerner, an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Bon Secours Maryview Foundation, which runs a free clinic in Portsmouth addressed the group. He explained that without the plan passing, “Hospitals like Maryview will cease to exist.”
Michael Kerner, CEO of Bon Secours Hampton Roads, explained that the hospital system provided $72.3 million in uncompensated care last year, including a Medicaid short-fall of $19.7 million. Expanding Medicaid reimbursements would help the hospital significantly.