Wexton Roundtable Highlights Importance of Affordable Care Act to Virginia Families
Virginia health care advocates and providers discussed the stakes of the upcoming Supreme Court case on the fate of the ACA, especially during COVID-19
Sterling, VA, October 13, 2020
Sterling, VA -- At a virtual roundtable today hosted by Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10), participants discussed the importance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and accessing health care, especially during COVID-19. Wexton and her guests discussed what overturning the ACA would mean for Virginia families. Next month, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case backed by the Trump administration that could strike down the law in its entirety in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Wexton was joined by Tasha Nelson, a Little Lobbyists Ambassador, parent, and Virginia-10 constituent; Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care; Dr. Anastasia Williams, Pediatric Director for Novant UVA Health; and Carol Jameson, Chief Executive Officer at HealthWorks for Northern Virginia.
"Less than a month from now, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act, which has provided more than 20 million Americans with affordable health care and protects more than 3.5 million Virginians who live with pre-existing conditions,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Now more than ever, access to quality, affordable health care is crucial for Virginia families as we continue to battle COVID-19. The pandemic has exposed gaps in our health care system and has underscored how critical it is to protect and build on the ACA to get more Americans covered."
Congresswoman Wexton opened the roundtable by talking about the stakes of the ACA case before the Supreme Court. If the case is successful, protections for those with pre-existing conditions -- including more than 3.5 million Virginians -- could be eliminated, among many other important provisions. Medicaid expansion, which Wexton helped pass in the Virginia state Senate in 2017 and has helped over 400,000 Virginians get coverage, could also be in jeopardy. You can watch Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care, explain what could happen if the law is stuck down here.
Virginia-10 constituent and ambassador with the Little Lobbyists, Tasha Nelson, shared the story of her family’s experience with the ACA. As the mom of a son with complex medical needs, Tasha and her family have benefitted from the elimination of lifetime caps on costs covered by insurance companies, thanks to the ACA. With the ACA under threat, Virginians like Tasha’s son could hit the lifetime cap in their first few years of life.
Also joining the roundtable were Dr. Anastasia Williams, Pediatric Director for Novant UVA Health, and Carol Jameson, Chief Executive Officer at HealthWorks for Northern Virginia. They spoke about the impacts of the ACA from a provider’s perspective, including its importance during COVID-19. According to data released by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, a total of 92,000 Virginians enrolled in Medicaid between March 12, the start of the pandemic, and June 30. That’s over 55,000 more people enrolled than anticipated, which the Department attributes to Medicaid expansion.
The roundtable also discussed the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on minority communities and what Congress can continue to do to keep our families and communities safe.
Protecting and expanding access to affordable, quality health care has been a top priority for Congresswoman Wexton throughout her career in public service. One of the first votes taken by Wexton in Congress was to allow the House of Representatives to enter the legal battle in defense of the ACA. Wexton has also voted to pass legislation that would lower the cost of premiums, shore up individual markets, guarantee protections for pre-existing conditions, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.
You can watch the full roundtable discussion here.