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Virginia Governor Appoints Health-Care Panel

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By Michael Pope

Even as Virginia’s attorney general prepares to fight the mandate for all Americans to purchase health insurance, the Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is preparing to implement its provisions as the legal battle moves forward. Calling the legislation “dizzying,” McDonnell has appointed a 24-member panel to help guide the way.

Members of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council include politicians, health professionals and corporate health-care providers. One member of the advisory council is Patrick Hope, a Democratic member of the Virginia General Assembly who represents Arlington. Hope says it’s time to put aside partisan differences over the new law and work together to transform health care delivery in a way that improves patient outcomes while reducing costs.

One item that will be at the top of the agenda is finding a way to deal with the expected rise in Medicaid spending, which the governor called “unsustainable.”

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