Medicaid expansion in W.V. - good or bad? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Medicaid expansion in W.V. - good or bad?

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RALEIGH COUNTY -

Earlier this week, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the Mountain State would take part in a key element of President Obama's health care plan to enroll more low-income people in Medicaid.

59 News found out if you support Tomblin's decision or not.

"I think that I'm in favor of expanding. If it's to help the poor people, then it's the right thing to do," one Beckley resident told us.

"If they expand it, I think that's a good thing, I only get it if I'm pregnant," said another Raleigh County resident.

Tomblin told the media on Tuesday in Charleston he anticipates the expansion will allow insurance coverage to reach approximately 91,500 working West Virginians. Snider praised Tomblin's decision because she believes the amount of uninsured people in our state is an issue.

"I think it is a problem because there's a lot of people without insurance and they can't pay their bills and they have to go to the hospital and then that's another bill that's not going to be paid," Rachel Snider said.

Most people 59 News spoke with today found Medicaid beneficial, but what do they think about the cost?

"It's going to cost us, they tax a lot of stuff, like my husband, they take a lot of taxes out of his paycheck," Snider told us.

James Hairston told 59 News he watches his money closely and is very grateful for the benefit Medicaid him.

"I retired a couple of years back and I need help, I have to watch every penny I spend, every penny I have I watch it," said Hairston.

Hairston said he's not the only one he knows could use a helping hand.

"I know people that need help, even my grandkids need help, they're just coming out of school and they need help too," Hairston added.

From next year through 2016, the federal government will pay the full cost of covering newly eligible people in states that undertake the expansion.


 

Earlier this week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the Mountain State would take part in a key element of President Obama's health care plan to enroll more low-income people in Medicaid.

Tomblin told the media on Tuesday in Charleston he anticipates the expansion will allow insurance coverage to reach approximately 91,500 working West Virginians.

He hopes this effort will reduce the number of uninsured. Tomblin's announcement was quickly praised by Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Under Obama's health care reform law, Medicaid coverage would be available to anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level under Obama's health care reform law. The federal poverty level is currently $15,282 for a single person this year. For those already enrolled in Medicaid, the federal government pays an average 57 percent of the expenses.

Stick with 59 News at 6 p.m. Sunday as 59 News reporter Jessie Gavin finds out your thoughts on this announcement.