PNS Daily Newscast _ March 31, 2020 

Treasury and IRS say economic impact checks for COVID-19 to begin in next three weeks. And states deal with collision of coronavirus and homelessness.

2020Talks - March 31, 2020 

During the new coronavirus pandemic, many are advocating more mail-in ballots. Some say restricting voting by mail is one method of suppressing the vote.

Study: 85% of Virginians Facing High Health Care Costs Even WITH Insurance

December 17, 2007

Richmond, VA – If you think you're secure because your family has a health insurance policy, think again. The health care cost crisis isn't only for the uninsured in Virginia. A new report from the advocacy group Families USA shows nearly 1.6 million Virginians are in households that will spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care in 2008, and 85 percent of these families have health insurance.

Jill Hanken with the Virginia Poverty Law Center says a family should spend no more than four percent of its income on health care to keep it "affordable."

"Even families with health insurance are struggling to pay for not just the cost of the health insurance, but the out-of-pocket costs that come along with health insurance."

Hanken says almost a half-million Virginians will spend more than 25 percent of their incomes on health care next year, and she cites rising health insurance premiums as the primary reason health care costs are eating up more of family budgets.

Hanken notes that Gov. Kane's recent Health Commission made some good recommendations to help get medical costs under control, but she says it will take more than that to make health care affordable for Virginians again.

"I think it's going to require everyone to sit down and look at this. No one should pretend it's not going to cost money, because it will cost money."

The full report is available online, at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA