Governor signs Executive Directive for health care access

Published: Oct. 15, 2019 at 10:42 AM EDT
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Governor Ralph Northam has issued

, directing actions to increase the number of Virginians enrolled in what he says is "quality, affordable health care coverage."

But Northam says, “Health coverage should be both meaningful and affordable, but unfortunately, policies from Washington threaten to increase the number of families who are uninsured or underinsured. It’s more important than ever that we identify and implement policies at the state level that control costs and ensure that Virginians can afford to buy health insurance that covers their health care needs.”

Executive Directive Five requires Virginia to "explore strategies to reduce health insurance premiums statewide, and protect Virginians from federal uncertainty." The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in collaboration with the Secretaries of Finance and Public Safety and Homeland Security, will review policies and programs and take actions to promote greater access and enrollment in "quality, affordable health insurance coverage."

“Health care is about wellness and well-being, but it is also an economic issue for many Virginians,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, M.D. “We know that quality, affordable health care coverage allows families to maintain employment, pursue educational opportunities, and have more money for other important personal investments and we need to protect and build on the gains we have made.”

Northam says, "The Secretary of Health and Human Resources will develop data-driven strategies to create efficiencies in coverage and improve health outcomes, with a special focus on particularly vulnerable populations, including but not limited to: pregnant women, justice-involved populations, non-English speaking populations, individuals with disabilities, and youth in foster care. The Secretary will also look for solutions to improve affordability through state innovations."