Affordable Care Act

Healthy Debate: What The Republican Health Bill Taught Us About Medicaid

Jul 23, 2017
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

It’s hard to find a spot on the map where the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have a bigger effect than in the Ohio Valley. By one measure, for example, the proposal could mean West Virginia’s rate of people who lack health insurance would climb by nearly 300 percent -- the biggest such change in the country. The projected declines in Kentucky and Ohio are also more than twice the national average. This is largely due to proposed changes in Medicaid.

"I did not come to Washington to hurt people."

That is how Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced, on Twitter, she would not support the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses her concerns "and the needs of West Virginians."

Capito was one of a handful of GOP Senators who dealt the Obamacare repeal a serious blow this week.

Is "Trumpcare" dead? And if so, what does that mean for heathcare in West Virginia, and for Capito's political future. Listen to the Front Porch podcast to find out.

Health Coverage FAQ
NPR

This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In West Virginia, many thousands could be affected. Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you.

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AP Photos

A day after announcing she could not support the Senate Republican-backed healthcare overhaul plan, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Wednesday she will offer her own changes to the bill which she thinks could make it more palatable in West Virginia.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Both of West Virginia’s U.S. Senators have now announced their opposition to a federal healthcare bill that could result in the loss of healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. 

Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced Tuesday afternoon in a press release she is a no vote on the bill. The statement came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced earlier in the day he would delay a vote of the full Senate until after the 4th of July holiday.

Joe Manchin
AP / Steve Helber

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is calling on Republican members of the U.S. Senate to open up their meetings about the new health care law, which is expected to be put to a vote in Congress before their July break. 

Doctor, medicine
sudok1 / Dollar Photo Club

A research group that examines how government policies affect low-income Americans says the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act will particularly hurt rural communities including those in West Virginia.

The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the House-passed replacement for "Obamacare" would effectively end its Medicaid expansion under which 76,900 rural West Virginians gained medical coverage. The program is almost entirely federally funded.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., explained his vote for the American Health Care Act in an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting today.

Critics of the House bill say it reduces funding for Medicaid, and makes services like substance abuse treatment optional for states.

But McKinley said the bill contains additional funding to cover drug treatment.

“It’s disingenuous for anyone to suggest that we’re not going to have adequate money for Medicaid for people on drug overdose problems. We’re going to have that,” he said.

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

All three West Virginia Congressmen voted for the American Health Care Act – the bill to repeal Obamacare.

Critics say it would hurt low-income and older people, both of which are found in abundance in West Virginia. Supporters say Obamacare has failed to offer affordable health care options to many. We debate who’s right.

Also, should pets be allowed in the workplace? And if so, under what conditions?

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Trump-backed healthcare bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Joe Manchin believes the bill has major issues and will likely move slowly through the U.S. Senate.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton looks at rural hospitals and how the new federal health care proposal will affect them and Ashton Marra talks with Tom Smith, the new Secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Community groups across the state held several town-hall style events focused on changes to America’s health care system during the past week. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attended four of the events and was the only member of West Virginia’s congressional delegation to do so.

Michael Virtanen / AP

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he'll oppose any legislation that takes health care away from West Virginians and urged people to "bombard" President Donald Trump with calls and emails to halt the Republican plan.

Manchin said Trump needs to be enlisted to stop the immediate Republican push to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law. The law added coverage to about 210,000 people in West Virginia, including 25,000 getting treatment in a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

Adobe Stock

Two U.S. House committees have approved a Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Critics of the law say it will raise premiums and cause millions to lose health coverage.

The House bill does, however, preserve an amendment written into the Affordable Care Act that makes it easier for coal miners with black lung disease to qualify for compensation benefits.

Adobe Stock

On Monday night, members of the U.S. House of Representatives released their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Possibly the biggest deal for West Virginia is that the new bill proposes changing the way that Medicaid is funded.

 

 

Medicaid is the joint state-federal insurance program that covers more than a third of West Virginians. Right now, the federal government matches state spending for Medicaid dollar for dollar. But under the proposed bill, that funding would change to a per-capita cap.  

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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."

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.

West Virginia's U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has joined with three Republican colleagues criticizing the House proposal to replace former President Barack Obama's health care law, saying they won't support a plan that doesn't have stability for individuals and families enrolled in expanded Medicaid.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they say the proposed replacement drafted in the Republican-controlled House also lacks needed flexibility for states.

Adobe Stock

Medical debt is incredibly easy to accrue. All it takes is an accident or an unexpected bill tacked onto an expected procedure or an out-of-network charge you didn’t know was out-of-network. Nationally, almost 24 percent of nonelderly Americans have past-due medical debt, according to an Urban Institute report published this week.

State-to-state, the debt rates vary widely, from a low level of indebtedness in Hawaii at about 6 percent of the population, to Mississippi at about 37 percent. West Virginia's rate is about 33 percent.

W.Va. Demonstrators Defend Affordable Care Act

Feb 27, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Appalachia Health News reporter Kara Lofton covered a rally in Charleston where demonstrators are seeking to save the Affordable Care Act and we’ll have a report about the ACA and rural hospitals and health clinics.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

After Obamacare: Rural Health Providers Nervous About Affordable Care Act Repeal

Feb 26, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Mountain Comprehensive Care

Mike Caudill runs Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation in five eastern Kentucky counties. Many of his 30,000 patients gained insurance through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. No one knows if or when those folks might lose coverage. But, Caudill said, the impact could be considerable.

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