May 22, 2014

Quite a contrast

Say what you like about WV's political leaders like WV's Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin--and I often have--I give him huge credit for choosing to expand Medicaid to low wage working people last year. And I also have to give credit to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources for doing a fantastic job of signing people up for it.

Earlier this week, I heard that already around 121,000 state residents had signed up for expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That is 92 percent of the eligible population and we got there years ahead of educated estimates.

If you add in the 20,000 or so who got covered through the exchange and the 15,000 who found out they were eligible for existing programs, that adds up to 156,000 people in the state who got covered this year.

Using a baseline figure of 240,000 uninsured in the state prior to the ACA, that means a drop of about 65 percent in the population of uninsured West Virginians. That really is quite a feat.

Contrast that with the brutal indifference of state leaders who have refused to expand the program and you'll see quite a difference.

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