Starting today, The Roanoke Times will launch an occasional series on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The idea is to take an issue that has so far played out on a national stage – first in Congress, then before the U.S. Supreme Court, then in last year’s presidential election – and bring it home to Southwest Virginia readers by explaining how they are affected by the law.
The first installment will be about a proposal under the ACA to expand Medicaid in Virginia. The goal of providing better medical care to the poor and the disabled is a key part of the ACA’s larger mission of making health care more affordable and accessible to all. Reporter David Ress and I have spoken to several people who would benefit from a Medicaid expansion, and you’ll hear their stories. The plan also has its critics, and you’ll hear from them, too.
Later in the year, we’ll have more stories about other major provisions of the law, which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Among them: an exchange that will offer subsidized insurance plans for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid but still struggle financially; a requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time employees offer insurance to them or face financial penalties; and the so-called “individual mandate,” which directs most Americans to have health insurance.
We welcome your comments – and your suggestions for future stories.