McClellan led the passage of the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange under the Affordable Care Act
RICHMOND — Today, candidate for governor Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released a statement on the 11 year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. McClellan was chief patron of SB 737, the bill that created the Virginia state-based health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act in 2020.
“11 years later, Virginians and the nation are much stronger and healthier thanks to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act,” McClellan said. “I was proud to work with advocates for years and to help pass Medicaid expansion for 500,000 Virginians in 2018. And, I’m proud to have carried the law that creates Virginia’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
“But we cannot rest. We must build upon the success of the Affordable Care Act and take the next steps toward closing the gaps in our health care system. While our Commonwealth has made progress in expanding coverage, too many Virginians have been left behind in our health care system. The COVID-19 crisis has further exposed disparities in our health care systems that existed even before the pandemic, especially for Black, brown, low-income, and rural communities. As governor, I’ll put those who continue to be left out of our health care safety net at the forefront. My administration will build on the Affordable Care Act by addressing racial disparities in health, ending barriers to reproductive health care, and expanding health care access to all Virginians.”
McClellan’s 2020 bill, along with Del. Mark Sickles’ (D-Fairfax) bill in the House, created the Virginia Health Benefit Exchange, under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — making the Commonwealth the 14th state to run its own marketplace. McClellan and Delegate Patrick Hope first introduced bills to create a state-based exchange in 2012. By creating a state-based health care exchange, Virginia will improve its quality of care, work to ensure that insurance companies meet health coverage needs while also controlling costs, and increase access to health care for over 400,000 Virginians.