Below is the text of a news release issued today from the office of Lt. Governor Bill Bolling concerning the votes by Senators Warner (contact here) and Webb (contact here) in favor of a procedural motion that will allow the Senate health care bill to proceed to a final up or down vote, where it is all but assured of passing. The text of the letter referenced in the news release is posted here.

BOLLING CALLS ON WARNER AND WEBB TO VOTE AGAINST FEDERAL HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION

RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today sent a strongly worded letter to Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner expressing outrage over special concessions given to certain states to obtain support for federal healthcare legislation from their Senators and asking them to oppose this legislation, which Bolling called "misguided."

"As you know, one of our major concerns with this legislation is the potential impact it could have on the cost of Medicaid for Virginia’s state government," wrote Bolling. "Many reports have suggested that this legislation could result in much higher Medicaid costs for state governments across the nation, costs that state governments simply cannot bear."

In his letter, Bolling cited reports from this past weekend that the Senate’s Democratic leadership had made concessions to Senator Ben Nelson that would hold his home state of Nebraska harmless for any additional Medicaid costs that might come about as a result of the enrollment of new Medicaid recipients after 2017, while all 49 other states would be required to pay a portion of the increased costs. This reportedly would save Nebraska $45M per year, while passing these costs on to other states.

Additionally, similar "sweet heart deals" were reportedly made to Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and other Senators to obtain their support for the healthcare bill, while the citizens of Virginia and other states were not afford the same benefits.

"I am outraged by reports that surfaced this weekend regarding concessions that were made to Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to secure his vote in support of this legislation," stated Bolling. "If these reports are accurate, this type of quid pro quo is unacceptable, and you and your colleagues should object strongly to the practice, which I have no doubt the American people will find offensive as well."

"If the Senate’s leadership is so desperate to obtain votes to secure the passage of this legislation that they would make these types of concessions to these Senators, I would ask that you demand that the same concessions be extended to Virginia, and for that matter, to every other state in the nation," continued Bolling.

In addition to the outrageous "pay off" tactics employed by Senate Democratic Leadership, Bolling encouraged Senators Webb and Warner to vote against the substance of the legislation, citing concerns that it will result in increased healthcare costs, increased insurance premiums, increased taxes on family and businesses and fewer options for individual patients.