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West Virginia Hoping to Keep Medicaid Going

Doris Selko knows the budget is tight. She’s the Southern Regional Coordinator for West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare. Selko is concerned that officials will try to cut Medicaid—although it’s already “a pretty bare bones program.” She emphasized the need to continue to keep funding it.

Selko talked about the program at a Wyoming County Commission meeting in an informational presentation, according to The Pineville WV Independent Herald article, “WVAHC hoping to preserve Medicaid.”

What did she have to say?

Selko noted that Medicaid funding helps keep clinics and pharmacies going in the area. According to Selko, more than 170,000 West Virginians have been enrolled in Medicaid since January 2014—the majority of whom weren’t previously insured.

She commented that more than 60% of Medicaid recipients have a job and that they’re people who work in food service, janitorial service, healthcare and other small businesses that haven’t been able to provide insurance for their employees.

There were more than 5,000 veterans who became eligible for Medicaid in January 2014.

Medicaid spent $16.6 million in West Virginia, and 8,643 residents (36%) receive health and long-term benefits through the program.

It’s a statewide federal program with $3 in federal spending for every $1 by the state.

Of those in Wyoming County who participate, 6,107 are eligible because their income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. Another 2,536 are eligible for Medicaid because they are low income elderly persons and/or have a physical or mental disability.

The coordinator said that even a five percent cut would make a difference in services. “It would hurt people.”

Reference: The Pineville WV Independent Herald (July 26, 2016) “WVAHC hoping to preserve Medicaid”

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