Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling speaks to Hampton Roads Business Leaders
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling hosted a roundtable business discussion on October 9 at the Virginia Beach City Economic Development Office. Bolling spoke to business professionals and community leaders about the main issues impacting Hampton Roads and our nation, while focusing on region-specific issues such as the employer healthcare mandate, Medicaid expansion, and sequestration.
Bolling expanded on healthcare and the employer mandate that will go into effect in 2013. “This is a one-size-fits-all mandate,” remarked Bolling. “My point is that a lot of my concerns are on the long-term effects. A lot of employers are not going to provide healthcare, so we were not advocates for the way that Washington is solving this problem.”
Lt. Gov. Bolling advocated caution as the healthcare bill moves forward, saying, “This would double our Medicaid population. We just can’t afford that. Medicare expansion is unlikely here in Virginia. Some say take a chance, let the Feds do it. If this happens, we lose control over the issue. Employers that do not offer healthcare will be fined, and these fines will add up and it becomes a Supreme Court issue.”
The discussion also focused on sequestration. “How many of our businesses will be affected?” one attendee asked, Bolling replied, “Basically all of them. We are obviously concerned about this. We created 118,000 new jobs as a result of sequestration and it can hit pretty fast — the debt ceiling, tax cuts, and sequestration."
Bolling also urged public understanding and preparation for the months ahead. “We are trying to make sure everyone understands what we are facing. No one ever thought this sequestration would go through, and defense gets most of the burn and the cuts aren’t straight across the board. They are kind of willy nilly. This will have a huge impact on Virginia. The biggest impact will be on California and Virginia, so we are trying to do everything that we can to call attention to it. The military ends up being a pawn in this. All we can do right now is keep raising the flag and get as prepared as we can."