(11/10/2019)
West Virginia ranked fourth best in the nation in 2016 for providing health care insurance to its children.

But in 2018, that ranking dropped to 14th, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

The study indicates the problem could be centered on Washington jousting around with Medicaid, as the Trump administration continues to deconstruct Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Jessie Ice, executive director of the group West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, blames part of the plunge on the state’s opioid crisis, which she says has led to unstable families going on and off insurance as they deal with addiction problems. A new report finds that the majority of children without health insurance in the United States live in the South. where state's have cut benefits.

About 4,000 more children in the state are uninsured compared to two years ago, the report finds, even though West Virginia leaders adopted Medicaid expansion in 2014.

State officials can do more to sign up more children for health insurance. She says they can publicize the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion better, and avoid possible restrictions.

“We want our state legislators to not impede on anything that might threaten Medicaid or the ACA. for example, signing onto lawsuits, imposing work requirements, Those sorts of things that we believe would really limit access,“ Ice said..

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, points out that across the nation, cycling in and out of health coverage is a problem at any time in a person’s life, but it’s especially harmful for children. The number of uninsured children in the United States increased by more than 400,000 between 2016 and 2018, the report finds, bringing the total to over 4 million uninsured children in the nation.


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