Almost one month ago, Anthem announced it would exit Virginia's Obamacare market entirely in 2018. While this is largely a federal issue, Virginia has been taking steps to try to find a solution to the problem created by Washington. We are hopeful that we may be able to work with an insurer to offer coverage in these localities without any providers, but that’s not a likely scenario. Unfortunately, the insurance providers are at the mercy of Washington’s inaction.
I am as frustrated as you are by this news; it is proof that Obamacare is broken and collapsing around us. Unfortunately, Washington has been unable to take action to either repeal and replace Obamacare, or even to take marginal steps to stabilize the insurance markets in light of Obamacare’s failures. Washington and Richmond are just 90 miles apart on the map, but we are worlds apart when it comes to governing.
While Washington drowns in deficits and debt, anchored down by partisan gridlock, Virginia balances its budget and finds a way to get things done. No matter what happens in Washington, and no matter which party is in charge, that is what we will continue to do in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Last Friday Anthem announced that it will remain in the individual insurance exchange in 68 Virginia counties.
Several members of the House of Delegates spent last week working closely with Anthem and I am pleased to see the announcement that they will remain in the Virginia exchange, ensuring that every county has access to at least one insurance provider in 2018. There were 48 counties and 15 cities in that state expected to be bare as a result of Optima Health's decision not to expand its footprint as much as it had earlier expected.
This is a positive step, and we are grateful to Anthem for their continued service to our Commonwealth. They have long been a productive corporate citizen, and this decision is a testament to their strong commitment to Virginia and its people.
Unfortunately, this is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The Affordable Care Act is collapsing, and Congress owes the American people a solution.
Over the next few weeks and months I will be spending time out in the district meeting constituents and scheduling meetings with businesses and groups in the 59th District. I encourage you to contact my office if you have an issue or concern that I may be able to help assist with. I value the feedback you provide as it helps me do my job representing you better. You can email me at DelMFariss@virginia.house.gov or call me at (434)821-5929. You can also join the conversation on our social media page at www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.