Dear VCHA Members,
Virginia has voted and the results are in. Voters resoundingly chose Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam as Virginia’s next Governor. The incoming Lieutenant Governor is Justin Fairfax (D),and the next Attorney General is Democratic incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring. In addition to a clean sweep of the three statewide offices on the ballot, Democrats unofficially gained 15 seats in the House of Delegates, bringing them to a 51-49, one-seat minority in the legislative chamber that featured a 66-34 Republican majority heading into Election Day. Those numbers could remain the same or change as provisional ballots are counted in the days ahead. With potential recounts looming, the balance of power is on the line in the House of Delegates.
Republicans hold a 21-19 seat majority in the 40-member Virginia Senate, where Democratic Lieutenant Governor-elect Fairfax has the ability to break tie votes on key issues. All 100 state House seats were on the ballot Tuesday. None of the Senate seats were on Tuesday’s ballot. Together, these results could have a substantial impact on state healthcare policy action as we look to the 2018 General Assembly legislative session and beyond.
Healthcare continues to be a primary concern for voters in Virginia and across America. In fact, exit polls last night revealed health care to be the top issue for voters who participated in yesterday’s elections. And with Democrats gaining power, healthcare policy may receive plenty of attention during Virginia’s upcoming legislation session. State decision makers in the legislative and executive branches face complex choices on key issues including coverage access to relieve the burden of uncompensated care, the role of Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need program in ensuring access to quality healthcare throughout the Commonwealth, the ongoing response to the opioid epidemic that has left its mark on countless communities and families, and other important topics. Democrats this year ran in support of Medicaid expansion so that issue is likely to be discussed and debated in the General Assembly.
In the days and weeks ahead, the Virginia Consumer Healthcare Alliance will continue to keep our members informed about these important healthcare issues and how they affect the ability of you and your loved ones to receive quality, affordable healthcare. In the meantime, please visit our website, and Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up with the latest healthcare headlines. And please encourage people in your network to join the VCHA. Our voice will be critically important in the months ahead.
And just in case you missed them, go back and check out the series of videos VCHA shared with members and the public in the run up to the November 7 election. The videos featured statewide candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General answering three key healthcare questions. VCHA is the only statewide healthcare organization that worked with the candidates and campaigns to illuminate the healthcare philosophies of those office-seekers in an easy to access and understand video format.
VCHA provided this information as a public service in keeping with its mission to help inform the public about healthcare to help foster rational, constructive dialogue that eschews partisanship in favor of common sense, compromise policy solutions that promote access to quality, affordable healthcare for Virginians.
You can view responses from gubernatorial candidates Ed Gillespie (R) and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) here , Attorney General candidates John Adams (R) and incumbent Mark Herring here, and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jill Vogel (R) here. Each of the major party nominees for the three statewide offices on the ballot this year were invited to submit videos. The videos are provided to inform the public and should not be construed as endorsements.
Virginia Consumer Healthcare Alliance