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AARP Virginia asks Governor to Veto Three Bills

Law act with red veto stamp.
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RICHMOND_ AARP Virginia announced today that it plans to ask Governor Ralph Northam to veto three health insurance bills, including Senate Bill 861, which passed the House of Delegates Monday by a vote of 57-41.

“While AARP Virginia appreciates efforts to increase access to healthcare for more Virginians, Senate Bill 861, and two other similar bills, could have a calamitous impact on older and sicker individuals,” said AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau, who sent a letter to every member of the House of Delegates on Thursday, urging them to reject the measure.

“We are extremely disappointed that these bills were approved by the General Assembly,” he said.

AARP Virginia will ask Northam to veto Senate Bill 861, along with Senate Bill 235, and House Bill 795. All three bills expand access to Association Health Plans (AHPs). AARP opposes such plans because they would permit insurers to charge older people more than current law allows, amounting to an “age tax.” They also can discriminate based on occupation, geography, and other social factors. Research shows that AHPs would have almost no impact on increasing health coverage. However, AHPs can fragment the market, with younger, healthier people moving to the AHPs, leaving older or sicker people in traditional insurance plans, driving up their costs. Experts believe that it would cause older people and those with health conditions to have a difficult time finding affordable coverage.

“We will ask our volunteers and other Virginians to make their voice heard,” added Dau.

“As a doctor, Gov. Northam should know better than most the plight of people with weak or no insurance,” said Dau. “As our Governor, he should veto these bad bills that would put more people at risk of facing that dilemma.”

Prior to the vote on Senate Bill 861, Dau announced that AARP Virginia would inform its 1 million members how each delegate voted. Constituents can find the name of their delegate here. The chart below indicates how each member of the House of Delegates voted on Senate Bill 861:

House Voting Record SB861.pdf

With more than 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth.

To learn more about AARP Virginia, like us on Facebook at and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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