Proposed hikes in healthcare premiums are a major concern for many Virginians.
Senator Tim Kaine is among those concerned, and on Tuesday, May 8, he shared what he hopes are some possible solutions.
Our news partner, The Daily Progress, reports some of the highest premium hikes in the state and country occur in the Charlottesville area.
Senator Kaine says much of that is because many localities only have one insurer and because of uncertainty with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known at Obamacare.
Kaine says that companies have acknowledged the hikes in prices due to the Trump administration trying to weaken the Affordable Care Act. The senator believes they should preserve the Affordable Care Act, but also improve it with a bill he introduced with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet.
“I want to put on the exchange a new choice, we call it a Medicare X plan - Medicare you can buy in the exchange,” says Kaine. “We would direct Medicare to develop an insurance plan that would cover the Obamacare essential health benefits.”
Kaine says the Medicare X policy would immediately give people another option that is reasonably priced. This would benefit people in the Charlottesville area and parts of Virginia where there is only one company willing to write individual policies.
The bill isn't yet bipartisan, but Kaine says it would offer options that his Republican colleagues say they want.