HEALTH

During a series of meetings last year, lawmakers gave passionate speeches decrying the practice of balance billing.They called it an unfair, serious problem that could land someone in medical debt and ruin their credit, even if they have health insurance. Several lawmakers issued a warning to  feuding lobbyists representing...
Every year, the refrain from Virginia lawmakers about health insurance is the same: It's too expensive and prices in the individual market especially are out of control (though they might be stabilizing).The solutions that seem to gain the most traction are often partisan, like relying on short-term and catastrophic health plans,...
Paulette Trimmer was excited when her 18-year-old son's counselor asked her to sit in on a therapy session. She was proud. She thought it was a good sign."I didn't have a clue that I was going into a den of wolves," she told the Virginia Board of Counseling on...
In the middle of a packed committee room in late January, Kara Murdock sat patiently, resting her swollen arm on her leg.She waited for over an hour while a House Commerce and Labor subcommittee rushed through its lengthy, late-in-the-day agenda so she could tell lawmakers about that arm: That...
As the House of Delegates prepares to consider adding a brand new agency with oversight over Virginia's Medicaid forecasting in response to an unexpected half-a-billion dollar bill, the department currently responsible for Medicaid expenses is trying to fix problems its own way.The Department of Medical Assistance Services has hired...
After hours of back-and-forth testimony in both House and Senate committees, in which lawmakers and lobbyists alike argued over four bills dealing with balance billing, only one clawed its way out of the chaos and passed a chamber on Tuesday.The Senate unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Glen Sturtevant,...
The unexpected half-a-billion dollar bill that landed on lawmakers' desks in November has inspired some senators to take a big step to stop it from happening again.Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, submitted legislation this year that would create a brand new state agency with the sole responsibility of overseeing the...
A dispute between the dominant health system in Hampton Roads and a public hospital in Chesapeake has spilled into the legislature, and on Monday the Senate took the side of the public hospital.Legislation sponsored by Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax City, would require a vertically-integrated health carrier — health...
Norfolk resident Rebecca Barwick’s health plan has put her in a difficult situation.She’s a transgender woman, but her plan lists her as a man. That’s because, as she gets older, she may need to access prostate health services that are only available to men. Yet she might also need...
A partisan debate fueled by election-year ferocity reared up in Virginia's House of Delegates on Wednesday over legislation related to late-term abortions when a mother's life or health is in danger — a practice that is already legal in Virginia under certain circumstances.A video of Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax,...