Sen. Tim Kaine talks about health care reform, immigration


WASHINGTON D.C. (WHSV) — After last week’s vote on the GOP senate health care legislation, Senator Tim Kaine says the healthcare debate is moving in to what he calls a better chapter.

Courtesy: US Senate / MGN

Kaine says rather than having one party craft a bill and push it to the floor with no public hearings, he wants to do health care “the right way”.

Kaine is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions or HELP committee.

He said after the August recess, the committee will hold a series of hearings with governors, insurance commissioners, hospital representatives, doctors and patients to talk about what works, what doesn’t, and what can be fixed in health care.

“I’ve said all along that President Trump made a couple of promises: no one’s going to lose coverage, no one’s going to pay more, nobody’s going to get kicked around because they have a pre-existing condition,” Kaine said. “I am convinced that democrats and republicans can work together to find solutions that honor the spirit of those promises and don’t kick millions of people off their health insurance.”

Kaine claims while millions of people have health insurance that wouldn’t have it without the Affordable Care Act, there’s still a significant percentage that does not. He believes if Virginia expanded medicaid, it would help an additional 400,000 to 500,000 Virginians who don’t have insurance.

He also added that he thinks improvements should be made to help people deal with rising prescription drug costs and creating more insurance options for people.

Senator Kaine also talked about immigration, saying he is troubled by the “RAISE” act. The legislation would place new limits of legal immigration and work to create a system based more on merit and skills, rather than family ties.

It could cut the number of people who can immigrate to the United States, something Kaine said could hurt Virginia’s economy.

Kaine said when he was born in the late 1950’s, only one of every 100 Virginians was born outside of the United States. He said Virginia at that time was in the bottom 15 states in per capita income and that Virginia was a poor state. Now, he says one out of every nine Virginians were born in another country and we’re in the top 15 per capita states.

“The internationalizing of the Virginia population has coincided and helped cause Virginia to be more economically successful,” Kaine said.

Senator Kaine added when he met with agriculture leaders earlier this year, their top plea was immigration reform so farmers can get more workers.

“So the overall drift of the administration’s policy from day one has been partially anti-immigrant and now even against legal immigration, wanting to restrict it and I actually think that’s going to hurt our economy.”

Kaine believes a path to citizenship for those who will pay taxes and follow the law is a better approach than an anti-immigration policy.

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Sen. Tim Kaine talks about health care reform, immigration

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