Tim Kaine on Health Care

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor


Let Medicare negotiate rates for prescription drug prices

Kaine noted both Medicare and Social Security are critically important. He said the Medicare budget is growing partially for the good reason that people are living longer. However, Kaine added that the government needs to get costs under control. Kaine proposed allowing the government to negotiate rates for prescription drug prices. He argues this will save about $250 billion over ten years. Kaine argued that Congress failed to include that provision while Allen was in the Senate for Medicare Part D. Kaine also promoted examining pilot projects for healthy outcomes, instead of just medical procedures.

Allen on Medicare, said Part D has helped seniors pay for their medications. Allen claims the $700 billion that "ObamaCare" takes out would hurt seniors. Kaine countered that money would be moved to programs that help seniors live healthier and prevent some medical procedures.

Source: WSLS-TV-10 on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Oct 18, 2012

Inaction was not a solution for healthcare

Their differences kicked in as they reacted to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care reform law. Allen watched news reports about the decision. "I'm disappointed that they had to use all this judicial creativity to call the mandate a tax," Allen said of the majority justices. "Unlike Tim Kaine, who thinks this is a great achievement, I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it."

Kaine said in a statement that insurance premiums and the number of uninsured both rose dramatically during Allen's term in the Senate. "Clearly, inaction was not a solution, and neither are continued calls for repeal. Instead, we must work together to strengthen this existing program and improve cost controls," Kaine said.

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2012 Virginia Senate Debates , Jun 28, 2012

Invest in community-based mental health care

My budget proposal preserves care for the mentally ill. In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, we made significant investments last session in community-based mental health care. This budget protects the investments we made together. And, the budget continues our transformation from a state that over-relies on institutional care of the mentally disabled to the more effective and humane strategy of expanding services that people can receive in their own communities.
Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address , Jan 14, 2009

Expand pre-natal care to reduce infant mortality rate

My proposed budget protects the advances we made in this biennial budget in funding our health care safety net. There are no cuts to free clinics and community health centers in my budget. And, we continue our expansion of pre-natal care to low-income mothers so that we can fight an unacceptable infant mortality rate.
Source: Virginia 2009 State of the State address , Jan 14, 2009

Mental health system is chronically under-funded

We have not forgotten the example of the Virginia Tech students. Together, all three branches of government have studied the challenge of delivering mental health services more effectively.

Six percent of Virginians have a serious mental illness, and one of every four citizens of the Commonwealth has a diagnosable mental illness of some type. Most of us have been directly impacted by mental illness among friends, families, or co-workers, and we know firsthand the magnitude of this problem. But due to chronic under-funding and an insufficient focus on the quality of care, our mental health system has not been measuring up to the needs of Virginia's mentally ill.

The strain on our overloaded case managers mean that thousands of Virginians with mental health needs are not getting treatment when they need it. Many are not being treated at all. If we identify people with mental illnesses and provide them with proper treatment and support, we serve them and our communities better.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 9, 2008

1 million Virginians do not have health insurance

Virginia is a leader in many areas, but health care is not one of them. Like every state in the nation, we face a health care crisis. In 2004, Virginians spent $5,000 annually on healthcare for every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth.

The cost of these services has significantly increased the cost of health insurance, moving it beyond the reach of many small employers and the self-employed. An estimated 1 million Virginians do not have health insurance. As a result, many of our citizens often do not receive the preventive care that is so important in reducing the onset of more serious health problems.

We must continue to work together to strengthen health and health care in Virginia. And there is so much that we can do to improve. The first step is helping Virginians take better care of themselves. While there are a growing number of exceptions, our health care system does not consistently encourage healthy living in a meaningful way

Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 10, 2007

Bush fights states getting cheap Rx for seniors

Many states, following the lead of Illinois, have set up simple ways to help seniors purchase safe, American-made prescription drugs from other countries at a fraction of the price they would pay here. The administration actually fought against that Democratic effort. In Virginia, we’ve worked to provide health insurance coverage for nearly 140,000 more children. Republicans & Democrats alike have come together to fight the administration’s efforts to slash Medicaid & push more costs onto the states
Source: Democratic Response to 2006 State of the Union address , Jan 31, 2006

Our seniors were promised medications but got poor planning

Skyrocketing health care costs are hurting small businesses and pushing millions of working Americans into the ranks of the uninsured. The White House has made efforts to cut Medicaid funds for our most vulnerable citizens. Our seniors were promised that the new federal Medicare drug plan would make it easier and cheaper to obtain their medication. Instead, many have fallen victim to the program’s poor planning. They find getting their medicine to be more complex, more expensive and less reliable.
Source: Democratic Response to 2006 State of the Union address , Jan 31, 2006

One out of 7 Virginians lack health insurance

In Virginia, one out of every seven people lacks health insurance. You probably talked to an uninsured person today. It may have been the person who handed you your clothes at the dry cleaners, or the server who brought you lunch, or the technician who changed the oil in your car.
Source: 2005 Gubernatorial campaign website kaine2005.org, “Issues” , Nov 8, 2005

Adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year.

Kaine signed a letter from 22 Governors to Congressional leaders:

In a letter to congressional leadership, 22 governors are urging federal lawmakers to adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year to provide families and businesses with much-needed security and stability.

"We commend you and your colleagues for provisions included in your bills that will help states," the governors wrote. "Many of the provisions will allow states to achieve long term savings and help cover those who currently go without health coverage. We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system."

"Efforts at the federal level, like the recent and critical investments that support states' HIV and prevention initiatives, are beginning the work to lower health care costs. Our citizens and our states, however, will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together to achieve health care reform."

Source: Letter from CO Gov. Bill Ritter and 21 other Governors 10-GOV1 on Oct 1, 2009

Opposes repealing ObamaCare.

Kaine opposes the CC Voters Guide question on ObamaCare

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Repealing "Obamacare" that forces citizens to buy insurance or pay a tax"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q5a on Oct 31, 2012

Religious exemption from ObamaCare individual mandate.

Kaine co-sponsored H.R.631 & S.352

Congressional Summary: To provide an additional religious exemption from the individual health coverage mandate. This Act may be cited as the 'Equitable Access to Care and Health Act' or the 'EACH Act'. The 'Religious Conscience Exemption' exempts individuals who are members of a recognized religious sect which relies solely on a religious method of healing, and for whom the acceptance of medical health services would be inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (TheHill.com weblog, April 29, 2013): "We believe the EACH Act balances a respect for religious diversity against the need to prevent fraud and abuse," wrote Reps. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and William Keating (D-MA). "It is imperative we expand the religious conscience exemption now as the Administration is verifying the various exemptions to the individual mandate," they wrote. Religious exemption from ObamaCare has come up before, including contraception. The EACH Act, however, deals only with exemptions from the insurance mandate.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (CHILD, Inc. "Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty", Dec. 2014): The Christian Science church is pushing hard to get another religious exemption through Congress. The EACH Act exempts everyone with "sincerely held religious beliefs" from the mandate to buy health insurance. We are particularly concerned about uninsured children: hundreds of American children have died because of their family's religious objections to medical care. The EACH Act increases the risk to children in faith-healing sects and the cost to the state if the children do get medical care. Some complain that their church members should not have to pay for health care that they won't use. But insurance works on the assumption that many in the pool of policyholders will not draw from it. Most people with fire insurance don't have their homes burn, for example.

Source: EACH Act 15_S352 on Feb 3, 2015

Other governors on Health Care: Tim Kaine on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
VA Senatorial:
Ed Gillespie
James Webb
Mark Warner
Robert Sarvis

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Fulop(D) vs.Lesniak(D)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2016:
DE: Bonini(R) vs.Carney(D)
IN: Pence(R) vs.Gregg(D)
MO: Hanaway(R) vs.Brunner(R) vs.Kinder(R) vs.Greitens(R)
MT: Bullock(D) vs.Perea(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.McChesney(D)
NC: McCrory(R) vs.Cooper(D) vs.Spaulding(D)
ND: Dalrymple(R) vs.Stenehjem(R) vs.Becker(R) vs.Heitkamp(D) vs.Pomeroy(D)
NH: Hassan(D) vs.Bradley(R) vs.Sununu(R) vs.Lavoie(R) vs.Connolly(D) vs.Dextraze(I)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Bell(D) vs.Niemeyer(R) vs.Pierce(R)
UT: Herbert(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Cook(D)
VT: Shumlin(D) vs.Minter(D) vs.Dunne(D) vs.Scott(R) vs.Lisman(R) vs.Smith(D)
WA: Inslee(D) vs.Bryant(R)
WV: Kessler(R) vs.Cole(D)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2015):
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
OR-D: Kate Brown
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Lame ducks 2015-16:
DE-D: Jack Markell
(term-limited 2016)
KY-D: Steve Beshear
(term-limited 2015)
LA-R: Bobby Jindal
(term-limited 2015)
MO-D: Jay Nixon
(term-limited 2016)
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
(retiring 2016)
WV-D: Earl Ray Tomblin
(term-limited 2016)
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Contact info:
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Mailing Address:
PO Box 12307, Richmond, VA 23241

Page last updated: Jul 08, 2016