There has been a lot of focus recently on the failure of the Obama administration’s ability to enroll Americans in the new health-care exchanges. Even the media have turned on the president, questioning why Obamacare’s exchanges were opened in the first place when the administration was fully aware of the website’s problems.
After having weeks to fix the widely reported “glitches,” as the president so aptly described them, some states still can’t identify a single individual who has successfully enrolled in Obamacare.
Now the White House has gone into full damage-control mode, shifting blame and pulling every excuse in the book for why their health-care law is falling apart before our very eyes.
The lack of leadership in Washington is not only stunning — it’s downright reckless. That’s why just last week Representative Paul Ryan joined me in calling for HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s resignation.
While the technical failures of the launch have sparked debate about Obamacare, it is the real consequences of the law that have Virginians talking. Doctors and health-care professionals from around the state have told me the same thing: Obamacare is already driving up the cost of health care, limiting people’s choice of doctors and insurance plans, and reducing access to quality care. We are already seeing the harmful effects this law is having on our economy as workers see their wages and hours cut. Major Virginia employers, such as the Fairfax Water Authority, have announced plans to drop employee health coverage.
My opponent strongly supported the passage of Obamacare and even believed that it didn’t go far enough. He wanted Congress to pass a public option, which would ultimately have led to a government takeover of our health-care system.
Now Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia to expand Medicaid, supposedly using the federal program to pay for nearly all of his many other promises, a plan the Washington Post called not “sustainable or realistic.” For McAuliffe, expanding Medicaid is just a vehicle to implement his far-left agenda, even if it means putting hard-working Virginians’ health insurance at risk and putting the future of the state’s finances into jeopardy.
Virginians who oppose Obamacare should send a message to Washington by supporting me in this election.
It is clear that McAuliffe has chosen to march in lockstep with President Obama instead of standing up and fighting for Virginians. It is a pattern we have seen far too often as he puts himself and his ideological agenda above what is best for everyone else. Lately, a growing chorus of some typically partisan Democrats has called for delaying elements of the law, but my opponent has stayed mum. If elected governor, McAuliffe would force Virginia job creators, families, and health-care providers to take a backseat to his big-government agenda.
Indeed, Obamacare offers one of the sharpest contrasts in the race for governor. I was the first attorney general in the nation to file suit against the law because I believed — and still believe — that it was unconstitutional and contrary to our first principles of limited government and individual freedom. As governor, I will do everything in my power to stop the implementation of Obamacare and oppose the Medicaid expansion. There are plenty of ways to reduce health-care costs and insure more people without forcing job-killing regulations on our small businesses.
Our hospitals and health systems must play a more expansive role in moving Virginia in the direction of a consumer-driven health-care marketplace instead of toward increased government control. We must also reverse the trend of physicians’ refusing Medicaid patients because of the regulatory regime imposed by the health-care law. At a time when our economy is slowly strengthening, we should be increasing the ranks of our physicians, not forcing them out of their practices.
Together, we can strengthen Virginia’s health-care system and deliver better care to more people by removing the roadblocks put in place by Obamacare.
The road to reform goes directly through Richmond and I will need your help to get there. I have spent my entire life fighting for Virginians, something my opponent has never done. As governor, you can count on me to stand up and do what is right for everyone. Please stand with me on November 5 as I humbly ask for your vote.
— Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II is the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Republican candidate for governor.