Virginia law would allow residents to buy health insurance across state lines

A bill moving through the Virginia General Assembly and passed by the state house, would allow Virginians to buy health insurance across state lines.

Delegate Ben Cline (R-24), who represents the Shenandoah Valley, introduced HB 2233.

The proposed legislation passed the House by a vote of 66 to 32 earlier this month. It has moved on to the state Senate where it is under review in committee.

The bill would allow individual or group health plans to be purchased out of state. Republicans have long argued that this policy change would allow for more competition and lower prices for consumers.

Cline says Virginia needs to take action now to ensure coverage is more affordable. He also argues that approving this measure will ensure the commonwealth is ready for when the new Congress and President Trump shake up national health care law.

“This is to make sure that when this does happen that it’s going to happen right and it’s going to protect Virginia consumers while giving them the choice and the lower cost that they are demanding from us,” Cline said.

“That will leave us here in Virginia with a very sick pool and that will make insurance rates skyrocket and that’s something we should be thinking about because the rest of us will be left holding the bag,” argued 47th District Delegate Patrick Hope (D).

Hope believes Cline’s measure would backfire, and the Democrat predicts the change would also weaken consumer protections.

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