Many of us were already struggling to get healthcare. Now, a global pandemic has uncovered even more gaps in the system. Even more West Virginians are falling through the cracks. It’s unacceptable.
We deserve better. And this Spring we we showed that when we come together for better healthcare — healthcare that values people over profit — we can win. (Read on for more news about that.)
So, what should we do next to fix our broken healthcare system? Tell us what you think!
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WE WON BIG IN 2020. Let’s do it again in 2020!
This spring, thanks to Healthcare for All Coalition members like you,
we won the fight to:
Provide Dental Coverage for 300,000 Adults who use Medicaid. SB 648, which provides for dental coverage to Medicaid-enrolled adults over 21 years old, passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Access to oral health care is linked to better health outcomes, reduced medical costs like emergency department visits, and increased work attendance.
Provide home- and community-based services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by clearing the I/DD Waiver Waitlist. Thanks to an outpouring of citizen action and the Capitol, the legislature set aside $19.8 million to support all 1,084 individuals currently on the I/DD waiver waitlist. Many of these individuals and their families have been waiting for years to receive this coverage for services and care at home, so that they don’t have to live in an institution.
Cap Insulin Copays at $100 for a 30 day supply. The price of insulin, which is made by only three manufacturers, has more than tripled since 2007. HB 4543 caps monthly copays for West Virginians who have private health coverage or PEIA. Insulin copay caps are expected to improve affordability and stop the rise of negative health outcomes from people rationing insulin to save money. This is an important step in the fight to make live-saving prescription drugs affordable for everyone.
We also defeated:
Medicaid Work Reporting Requirements. This bill, now defeated two years in a row, would have led to at least 37,000 West Virginians losing health coverage, including many working West Virginians who would not have been able to meet the requirements.
A ban on evidence-based syringe exchange programs, which save $6 in HIV treatment for every dollar invested and provide clients with a pathway to recovery.
A Sham Pre-existing Condition Protection Bill, put forth by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. This bill had very weak protections for West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, lacked non-discrimination protections, and would have allowed insurers to deny health plans to many residents.
And it was thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of you.
Some folks helped organize a bus trip to Canada to save up to 90% on insulin costs, drawing attention to skyrocketing drug prices in the U.S. Others hosted an ice cream social at the Capitol to remind lawmakers about the struggles of West Virginians with disabilities. And HUNDREDS of West Virginians joined together in asking legislators to choose “people over profit” when making health policy decisions.
HAVE YOU LOST YOUR HEALTHCARE DURING COVID-19?
The Economic Policy Institute is estimating that about 45.8% of West Virginians who lost their jobs over the past four weeks due to COVID-19 also lost their health coverage, meaning we could have nearly 60,000 newly uninsured folks in the state with likely more to come.
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy put together this helpful guide to outline the options that people have to maintain critical health coverage during this time. Please share! The URL is:
WV Citizen Action is doing this work as part of the West Virginia Healthcare for All Coalition, which believes all West Virginians deserve health care. We’re a coalition of people and organizations that includes hundreds of citizen advocates personally affected by our healthcare crisis. It is led by West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, and West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund.
Join the Coalition here!