Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell visited Charleston today to voice support for the Affordable Care Act.
Burwell came as part of a West Virginians for Affordable Health Care event to advocate for universal and affordable health care.
The event included testimonials from eight West Virginians who have benefited from various provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Advocates of the law, including Secretary Burwell say they are very concerned about the future of the ACA under the leadership of president-elect Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has said under his administration, the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. Of particular concern to advocates is the future of protective ACA provisions, including expanded Medicaid, the ability to stay on parental insurance policies until age 26 and the inability of insurance companies to deny coverage to patients with preexisting conditions.
In the past six years, about 20 million people have gained healthcare coverage in the United States under the ACA, including more than 220,000 West Virginians. Advocates say they will fight to protect this coverage in the coming months.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.