June 30, 2017

Justice calls for justice

Here's another big "thank you!" to WV Governor Jim Justice for standing up for West Virginians and opposing the senate "health care" bill in the strongest terms. Here's part of what he wrote in a letter to Senators Capito and Manchin:

While the impacts outlined in the Congressional Budget Office report are cause for serious concern, the reality is things are worse than they seem. I want you to be fully aware of the impact the current legislation would have on the state we both love.
Since so many of our people count on Medicaid, any cut to Medicaid would destroy families in West Virginia. We can't put the 175,000 West Virginians who benefit it from the Medicaid expansion at the risk of losing coverage. The consequences would be beyond catastrophic.
In the face of our drug epidemic, fewer people would have access to drug treatment programs under the current proposal. As the  debate moves forward, I hope you and your colleagues will consider the fact that it will only make it harder to combat e the drug problem that's ravaging West Virginia.
And that's no BS...and you know this governor knows a thing or two about that.

The whole letter is here.

Happy 4th!

June 27, 2017

In the spirit of fair play: a big "Thank you!" to Senator Capito

Here's a big "Thank you!" to WV Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who just came out against the American Health Care Act.  

From her statement:

“I came to Washington to make the lives of West Virginians better. Throughout this debate, I have said that I will only support a bill that provides access to affordable health care coverage for West Virginians, including those on Medicaid and those struggling with drug addiction. In West Virginia, Obamacare has led to skyrocketing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles for families and small businesses. Patients have fewer choices in doctors and hospitals as networks shrink and plans become more restrictive.” 
“I have consistently looked for opportunities to improve this broken law, including co-sponsoring the Patient Freedom Act of 2017 earlier this year. I continue to believe we must repair what can be fixed, scrap what is not working, and create a better health care reality for West Virginians. At the same time, West Virginia has the largest Medicaid population in the country. I recognize that many West Virginians rely on health coverage and access to substance abuse treatment because of my state’s decision to expand coverage through Medicaid. I have studied the draft legislation and CBO analysis to understand its impact on West Virginians. As drafted, this bill will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers.”
“As drafted, the Senate health care bill is not the right fix for West Virginia, and I cannot support it. My concerns will need to be addressed going forward.”
This is the time we need to say "Thanks" as loudly as we said "Don't vote for it." Click here. I just called her Charleston and DC offices. Please consider doing the same.

A bad deal all the way around

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the "kinder, gentler" senate non-health care bill will cut off 22 million people from coverage. According to the NY Times, the CBO...

 ...found that next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law. Premiums and out-of-pocket expenses could shoot skyward for some low-income people and for people nearing retirement, it said.

You can check out the CBO report here.

This bill would also be devastating to tens of thousands of people in WV, not to mention the whole country, who are getting help for addiction thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (You can read more about real people who could be impacted by ACA repeal here.)

Meanwhile, WV Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito continues to straddle the fence. Yesterday, six West Virginians were arrested for sitting in at her Charleston office. That action came one day after around 2,000 West Virginians attended a rally there that featured local people as well as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

As Bob Dylan sang, you gotta serve somebody. The question is, will Capito choose to serve Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or the people of West Virginia? I wish I felt better about how that might turn out