CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Terry McAuliffe says he plans to expand access to healthcare and combat rising prescription drug costs. The Democrat made the announcements during a stop in Charlottesville Monday, March 8.
McAuliffe, who is running to reclaim the governor’s office, says expanding access to healthcare starts by lowering premiums.
“We need to seek the 1332 waiver for our reinsurance program that we need here in Virginia,” he said.
If elected, McAuliffe says he’ll create a Medicaid buy-in program that will be available on a state-based exchange. He says this will help people who may not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.
“Open up the roles on Medicaid so that more people will be able to access our Medicaid system in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe says his plan focuses on the rising cost of prescription drugs by creating a state watchdog for consumers that will set limits for drug prices.
Health equity is also a key element of McAuliffe’s plan: “Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately affected on healthcare delivery. On the issue of housing, we have 260,000 Virginians today under threat of eviction,” he said.
Alvin Edwards, pastor of Mount Zion First African Baptist Church, says he has heard people express reticence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but that many Black and brown people want to get it. He says there are barriers preventing that from happening.
McAuliffe also acknowledges that while President Joe Biden says there will be enough vaccine for all Americans by the end of May, the recovery from this pandemic will take time.
Pastor Edwards says access to a vaccine is critical right now.
“If you call my office and you don’t have access to a computer, we’ll fill out the form for you. We’ve been doing things like that, we’ve called members, sent emails, we’ve tried to reach people every way possible to let them know to get the vaccination,” he said.