News Articles

WVU study: Medicaid cuts would have deep impact on West Virginia’s economy

WVU Today
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WVU's Bureau of Business and Economics Research director John Deskins.
WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economics Research director John Deskins said that state cuts to programs that Medicaid funds will take money out of the state’s economy.

Cutting Medicaid in West Virginia would have substantial economic impact on the state’s economy, according to a study released today by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics.

The research was funded by the West Virginia Health Care Association, the West Virginia Hospital Association and the West Virginia Behavioral Healthcare Providers Association. Nearly 30 percent of state residents are enrolled in the program. In 2017, the study said, Medicaid accounted for nearly $3.7 billion in the state’s economy directly.

“The bottom line is that Medicaid has a pretty large effect on our state economy,” said John Deskins, WVU economist and BBER director. “Medicaid injects federal dollars into West Virginia’s economy, so any cuts to the program takes that money out of our economy.”

Deskins said the goal of the study was to look at the economic impact of Medicaid in West Virginia and determine what ripple effects, if any, such cuts would create. Economists looked at a hypothetical $10 million cut to Medicaid in West Virginia, and the result was a reduction of $49 million in overall annual economic output.

“In this study, we took a hypothetical scenario and looked at what would happen if West Virginia would cut Medicaid by $10 million, or around 1 percent,” Deskins said. “Medicaid is a joint program whose funding is shared by the federal and state governments. For every $1 the state puts up for Medicaid, the federal government provides nearly $2.90. Therefore, if the state cuts Medicaid by $10 million, you are immediately taking $29 million in federal funding out of the economy.”

The study noted that the impact does not stop there, as the multiplier effect of the cuts would result in a total economic impact loss of approximately $49 million, including a loss of an estimated 520 jobs annually.

“This $29 million in reduced federal spending would represent a direct loss in economic activity in West Virginia within the health care industry,” the report said. “In addition, however, this loss would generate spillover effects to other parts of the economy as supplier firms to Medicaid providers would receive less income and employees of Medicaid providers and subsequent supplier firms would receive less income, and therefore spend less.”

Patrick Kelly, CEO of the West Virginia Health Care Association, said the impact of Medicaid in the state is undeniable.

“Approximately, one-third of West Virginia’s population are Medicaid beneficiaries,” Kelly said. “It’s important for our state’s leaders to know the impact Medicaid has on our health and on our economy. This report highlights the enormous impact Medicaid has on our economy.”

The $2.90 the federal government provides for every $1 spent by West Virginia state government on Medicaid is near the top of the scale for matching funds. “Since West Virginia ranks near the bottom of states in terms of per capita personal income, the federal share for the Medicaid program in West Virginia is among the highest in the nation,” the study read.

The study may be viewed by visiting



CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics; 304.293.5131

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

Kelli Caseman, Candace Hamilton: Just do it, Congress. Pass CHIP

Charleston Gazette
November 23, 2017
Kelli Caseman

Here we are, close to the two-month mark since the authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expired. We’re surprised and ashamed that Congress has let it come to this.

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West Virginians for Affordable Care Statement on Senate Attempt to Repeal Individual Mandate

West Virginians for Affordable Care Statement on Senate Attempt to Repeal Individual Mandate

From Executive Director Chantal Fields


CHARLESTON, WV – “News from the U.S. Senate should have every West Virginian concerned about the future of their health care. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has previously reports this provision would cost 13 million people their health care with 4 million people losing employer-sponsored health care. Repealing the individual mandate will leave thousands of West Virginians without health care, raise the health care costs of all people and destabilize the already volatile health insurance market. West Virginians can not afford increased premiums or fewer health care choices.”

Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act Marketplace begins Wednesday


October 30, 2017

 CLARKSBURG — After a contentious year among politicians about the Affordable Care Act’s future, open enrollment for Marketplace health insurance plans begins Wednesday and ends Dec. 15 with increased premiums.

Many challenges, but hope for state’s foster care system

Simon F. Haeder

Recently, I had the pleasure of hosting a roundtable that was part of a series of four hosted by West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and was co-hosted by the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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West Virginia policy experts share concerns about latest ACA repeal bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama’s health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

CHARLESTON — West Virginia policy experts fear the state and thousands of its residents could suffer if the latest measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is advanced.

School of Medicine hosts prenatal substance abuse and exposure roundtable

Huntington News

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – 12:59


School of Medicine hosts prenatal substance abuse and exposure roundtable

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine welcomed West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership to its medical campus Friday, Sept. 15, for a roundtable discussion about prenatal substance abuse and exposure, particularly neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.

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Future of Children’s Health Insurance Program remains uncertain

September 9, 2017

CRAIG HUDSON | Gazette-Mail
School nurse Janet Allio speaks with Susan George at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary on Friday.

Janet Allio, school nurse at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary, remembers wishing she could do more to help families who made too much for Medicaid, but couldn’t afford private insurance, before the Children’s Health Insurance Program began.

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Renate Pore: Getting down to bipartisan health care solutions, we can help

Charleston Gazette   September 7, 2017

More than 25 organizations representing thousands of West Virginians have written to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., urging her to work in a bipartisan manner to preserve health care for West Virginians.

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Roundtable Addresses Health Concerns of Kids Displaced by Drug Epidemic


By Kathryn Ghion, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter/Weekend Anchor
Roundtable Addresses Health Concerns of Kids Displaced by Drug Epidemic
 As the drug epidemic continues in West Virginia, physicians, educators, legislators and more are making sure children are not forgotten.

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