News Articles

Health care costs continue to rise faster than wages, inflation

HUNTINGTON — Thomas Hart can’t remember the last time he got a pay raise, but he says his health care costs continue to rise every year.

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Thank You Medicaid!

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care & West Virginians Together for Medicaid Statement on Federal Appeals Court Ruling Striking Down Only the ACA Individual Mandate; for now the rest of the Affordable Care Act stands

Ultimate Fate of the ACA in Doubt as Court Remands to Lower Court to Decide “Severability”

Charleston, WV – Last night, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling striking down only the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Court ruled that the individual mandate to buy health insurance cannot stand without the penalty attached to it. Congress repealed the penalty in 2017. The Court did not strike down the rest of the Affordable Care Act. In practical terms, the ACA stands today for consumers same as it did yesterday.

However, the Court did remand the case to the lower court to decide if the entire ACA could continue without the individual mandate provision (that is, to determine if the provision was intended by Congress to be “severable” from the rest of the ACA). In fact, Congress has already made their intent clear by voting to eliminate the individual mandate penalty and leaving the rest of the ACA in place. The suit to strike down the ACA was originally brought by attorneys general in 20 conservative states, including West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and the Trump Administration has called for repeal of the entire ACA.

With this decision to remand the case back to the lower court, the case may not go forward to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020 and before the election in November. Thus, the ultimate fate of the Affordable Care Act may be decided at the ballot boxes.

“This ruling leaves the fate of pre-existing condition protections for millions of consumers in frightening uncertainty. People who qualified for insurance through the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid are left to worry about their future. In West Virginia, one-third of the population has a pre-existing condition that is insurance discrimination by the ACA – that is, from high premiums, exclusions of coverage, and denials

of coverage. More than 150,000 people are currently enrolled in health insurance under the Medicaid expansion. The ACA is critical to the financial survival of our rural hospitals and clinics. When will the attacks on the ACA stop so that hard-working people do not live in fear of being thrown from the insurance rolls, facing sky-high premiums for pre-existing conditions, and loss of jobs from rural hospital closures,” West Virginians for Affordable Health Care Executive Director Jessica Ice stated.

“Despite continual legal, legislative, and partisan political attacks, for now the ACA remains the law of the land – ensuring that West Virginians and all Americans can receive quality, affordable health coverage. Medicaid is the cornerstone of health care delivery in West Virginia. With over 1/3 of the state’s population receiving coverage through the program, its importance is vital to improving health outcomes and saving lives. Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals left West Virginia families holding their breath to see if they will be caught in partisan political crossfire and lose their pre-existing condition protections and Medicaid,” said Kat Stoll, Director of West Virginians Together for Medicaid.

Further updates will be forthcoming. The case is titled Texas vs. United States. ###

Caseman, Marino: Hard truths about W.Va. youth in crisis (Opinion)

  • By Kelli Caseman and Laure Marino
  • Oct 16, 2019

Some hard truths have emerged, thanks to the opioid epidemic. One is that some of West Virginia’s children will be introduced to the culture of drug addiction, and they’ll never climb out of it. We lack the priorities and resources to help them. Our systems are bursting at the seams. Kids will keep falling through the cracks.

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WTAP  | Parkersburg, WV

Medicaid awareness meeting planned for tonight

WTAP 6 – Changes to medicaid program Posted: Mon 11:36 AM, Sep 23, 2019  | Updated: Mon 11:37 AM, Sep 23, 2019

PARKERSBURG, W,Va.-(WTAP) On Monday, Sept. 23rd at 6:30 pm., the League of Women Voters will provide an awareness program on changes to Medicaid that are on the horizon. Anyone affected directly or indirectly should attend. The event will be held at the Summer Auditorium at the main branch of the Wood County Public Library on Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg.

Lisa Diehl, Northern Regional Coordinator for West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, an organization whose goals include preserving, protecting, and improving Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion, will be the guest speaker for the public and sponsored by the League of Women voter.

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Child Care experts talk need for policy change at roundtable discussion

By TAYLOR STUCK The Herald-Dispatch

Sep 21, 2019

Local journalism makes a difference

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, together with the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held its third 2019 roundtable series on kids’ health in
West Virginia on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at the Marshall University School of Medicine within Cabell Huntington Hospital.

HUNTINGTON — With hopes of forging a path toward meaningful changes to policy that affect the well-being of West Virginia’s children, two groups brought together health care and child welfare experts Friday at the Marshall University School of Medicine within Cabell Huntington Hospital.

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Rate of uninsured in WV remains unchanged, but worries shared on lack of progress

While West Virginia made progress years ago in decreasing the number of uninsured people in the state, a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday suggests that progress may be slowing after no change in the rate of insurance coverage between 2017 and 2018.

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Moms, babies make big gains under Medicaid expansion

By Sharon L. Carte

Jun 4, 2019

After a long public health career frequently reading and learning of poor health statistics or rankings for West Virginia, nothing cheers me like learning we are on top for a change, and it should cheer you, too.

Yes, West Virginia is among the top three states (along with New Mexico and Kentucky) with the highest declines in the rate of uninsured women of child-bearing age (18 to 44 years), according to a recent report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. This good news means most women of child-bearing age in our state now have increased access to preventive care during pregnancy, their chances for adverse health outcomes are reduced and maternal mortality can be reduced.

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Student support gets spotlight in education report

By Brad McElhinny in News | May 11, 2019 at 11:58AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new report not only makes recommendations to change West Virginia’s education system, it also tells a story of how the daily complications of students’ lives affects how they perform in school.

“It is apparent more needs to be done to address the consequences of poverty and the opioid crisis on West Virginia’s children,” the report says.

Kelli Caseman

“Public schools carry much of the burden created by abuse, neglect and household dysfunction.”

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Mental health professionals call for more “trauma informed” training in public schools

By Jordan Nelson The Register-Herald

Apr 21, 2019


Public schools throughout the state are in current crisis mode as the opioid epidemic continues to sweep its way in and remain a dark cloud over West Virginia, according to Diana Whitlock, the autism coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). 

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