Justice Raises Concern About Medicaid Under House Proposal

Mar 7, 2017

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he agrees with the state's U.S. senators that they can't kick West Virginians off Medicaid "and leave them in the cold."

Credit Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Justice, responding Tuesday to a proposal by congressional Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, says he's asked his health secretary to examine the specifics, how it would affect West Virginia and what regulatory changes could help residents.

About 35,000 people statewide have commercial coverage through the federal health exchange established under so-called Obamacare, most qualifying for federal subsidies that reduced their premiums.

About 175,000 more enrolled through Medicaid, which the state expanded by raising income eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That expansion has been funded by almost entirely with federal dollars, which the House proposal would reduce.