State of West Virginia secondary Archives: on Health Care


Ben Salango: Health care must be accessible and affordable

Quality care should not be reserved for the wealthy few.˙He will˙make health care affordable and˙accessible and˙will protect the 800,000˙West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.˙Ben will fight for a˙cap on monthly insulin co-pays˙and make prescription drugs affordable. He˙will increase Medicaid reimbursements to˙prevent˙rural hospitals & health care providers from going bankrupt. He will strengthen healthcare protections to help consumers who are wrongly denied health insurance coverage.˙
Source: 2020 West Virginia gubernatorial website BenSalango.com Oct 9, 2020

Paula Jean Swearengin: Health care is a human right, decouple health care from jobs

Health care is a human right, plain and simple. This is why Paula Jean fully supports Medicare for All. In the long run Medicare for All could save the country billions by cutting out the middle-man and investing in true preventative care. She also supports decoupling health care with jobs so that each individual can decide their own future without being burdened with the weight of losing their health care plan.
Source: 2020 West Virginia Senate campaign website PaulaJean.com Jul 6, 2020

Woody Thrasher: AdWatch: Be proactive on coronavirus, not reactive

Thrasher's ad offers ideas, including increasing unemployment benefits, bridge loans for small businesses, and deferment of mortgage payments. "We're all dealing with this coronavirus. It's certainly creating hardships, and I believe those hardships might get greater before they get better," Thrasher said in the ad. "I also think it's a time where West Virginia needs to be proactive in terms of its reaction to this crisis, not reactive the way we have been so many other times."
Source: Weirton Daily Times AdWatch:2020 West Virginia governor race Mar 29, 2020

Ron Stollings: Supports bill to cap monthly supply of insulin at $25

Stollings supported a bill that would put a $25 cap on a monthly supply of insulin. Currently some West Virginians can end up paying thousands of dollars a month for the drug. He also told WSAZ that the drug is necessary for type 1 diabetics, saying if they don't have access to the drug they can die. Stollings says he fears if it does not move soon, it will die there. "The key is to get it on the agenda. If we can't get it on the agenda, it's dead and that's sad," Stollings said.
Source: WSAZ TV-3 on 2020 West Virginia gubernatorial race Mar 2, 2020

Ron Stollings: Coronavirus: $2m to prepare a plan now

Stollings, a doctor who is also running for governor, is looking for $2 million to help West Virginia's preparation for a possible coronavirus outbreak. "Where it comes from is not important," said Stollings. "It's just that we get some money, even if it's the rainy day fund." "I think it's really important for us to allocate this $2 million so we can get ahead of this coronavirus," he said. "We need to do something now. We need a plan now."

Two million dollars is a conservative amount, Stollings said in an interview prior to the Senate floor session. "We absolutely need to be thinking and planning for this coronavirus," he said. "It's a virus that's going to get out into the public. We can't stop it. There's no treatment for it. There's no vaccination for it. So mostly what we have to do is have a statewide plan and excellent communication system between all the health departments."

Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia gubernatorial race Feb 28, 2020

Ron Stollings: Re-examine Medicaid reimbursement rates to medical providers

The state Senate quickly considered and passed Gov. Jim Justice's proposal to take $150 million out of current Medicaid funds to create a trust fund. Stollings asked whether the bill does anything to increase the reimbursement rates to medical providers for government insurance. The bill does not. Stollings, a doctor who is running for governor, has said those reimbursement rates need re-examination as hospitals all over the state struggle financially.
Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2020 West Virginia gubernatorial race Feb 25, 2020

Jim Justice: We can all agree on protection for preexisting conditions

You know, our citizens of this state deserve good stuff. One of the things they surely deserve is affordable health care coverage. Which is why today I'm asking the legislature to ensure that the people with preexisting conditions in this state, even though you may have loved ObamaCare, or maybe you didn't, surely all of us can agree on one thing, and that is just this. West Virginians should be protected against preexisting conditions.
Source: 2020 West Virginia State of the State address Jan 8, 2020

Jim Justice: Establish Medicaid Families First Reserve Fund

Our Medicaid fund has grown way beyond belief. We're on a pace to have an excess in the Medicaid fund of $309 million by year end. What I'm proposing tonight is something that is maybe not never done before, but is surely seldom done. I am proposing tonight that I want to announce legislation to establish the Medicaid Families First Reserve Fund. And I want to lock away $150 million to ensure that we will always have vital services for those that are the most exposed and need the most help.
Source: 2020 West Virginia State of the State address Jan 8, 2020

Ron Stollings: Invest in more mental health services & foster care crisis

Stollings said he wants to see more financial support of foster and kinship caregivers. West Virginia also needs to invest in more mental health services, which can help the foster care crisis by enabling more parents to be healthy enough to parent, Stollings said. "These people with these diseases, particularly bipolar disorder, they aren't going to be good parents unless their disease state is in treatment," he said.
Source: Herald-Dispatch on 2020 West Virginia Gubernatorial race Jan 8, 2020

Ron Stollings: Affordable health care should include oral and mental health

We need to make sure West Virginians have access to quality, affordable health care, including oral health and mental health care.
Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail on 2020 West Virginia Governor race Dec 23, 2019

Michael Folk: Abolish "Certificate of Need" law as anti-competitive

Reduce Healthcare Costs by abolishing the Certificate of Need (CON) law passed in 1977 that prevents competition! One cause for WV's high inflation rate in healthcare services is directly related to anti-competitive policies that result from laws in West Virginia and 34 other states that are known as Certificate of Need (CON).
Source: 2020 West Virginia Governor campaign website Folk4WV.com Dec 16, 2019

Michael Folk: We need a free market in health care

Folk said an issue is a lack of free market in health care in West Virginia. "We don't have a free market in West Virginia because of the Certificate of Need," Folk said. "I put a bill in to abolish it or greatly reduce the Certificate of Need. There is a guy who works doing imaging in Ohio, the cost is $50. When he works in West Virginia, he has to work through a hospital and the cost is $500 to $800 for the same thing. If you want to get people into the state, one of the things needed is lower health care costs."

According to the West Virginia Health Care Authority's website, in West Virginia, all health care providers, unless exempt, are required to secure a Certificate of Need prior to adding or expanding health care services, exceeding a certain capital expenditure threshold, purchasing major medical equipment or building or acquiring new health care facilities.

Source: MyBuckhannon.com on 2020 West Virginia Governor debate Aug 27, 2019

Joe Manchin III: Unacceptable to go back to pre-ObamaCare days

Q: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as ObamaCare?

Joe Manchin (D): Needs improvement, but supports its preventive care, protections for pre-existing conditions, costs of prescription drugs, & support to fight opioid epidemic. Unacceptable to go back to when 250,000 West Virginians went without healthcare.

Patrick Morrisey (R): Repeal. Joined lawsuit that would end coverage of preexisting conditions. ACA has "utterly failed our country & West Virginia," causing higher insurance premiums, & leading businesses to drop health care coverage altogether.

Q: Should the Federal government support miners' pensions & health care when companies go bankrupt?

Joe Manchin (D): Yes. Spearheaded bill to fund health care benefits & pensions for union miners.

Patrick Morrisey (R): No statement found.

Source: 2018 CampusElect Issue Guide on West Virginia Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Patrick Morrisey: Sued to end coverage of preexisting conditions

Q: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as ObamaCare?

Joe Manchin (D): Needs improvement, but supports its preventive care, protections for pre-existing conditions, costs of prescription drugs, & support to fight opioid epidemic. Unacceptable to go back to when 250,000 West Virginians went without healthcare.

Patrick Morrisey (R): Repeal. Joined lawsuit that would end coverage of preexisting conditions. ACA has "utterly failed our country & West Virginia," causing higher insurance premiums, & leading businesses to drop health care coverage altogether.

Q: Should the Federal government support miners' pensions & health care when companies go bankrupt?

Joe Manchin (D): Yes. Spearheaded bill to fund health care benefits & pensions for union miners.

Patrick Morrisey (R): No statement found.

Source: 2018 CampusElect Issue Guide on West Virginia Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Paula Jean Swearengin: Medicare for all as part of insurance free market

Provide all Americans with healthcare through Medicare. This will include high-quality general, dental, vision, and mental health coverage. Medicare is more efficient than any private insurance provider and is accepted by 95% of doctors. Under our plan, private insurance companies will be allowed to compete with each other in a truly free market to offer supplemental insurance plans.
Source: 2018 West Virginia Senate campaign website PaulaJean2018.com Jul 17, 2017

Jim Justice: Don't plan on repealing Obamacare/ACA's Medicaid expansion

A Justice campaign spokesman said he doesn't plan on repealing the program for the expansion population. "Jim will root out waste, fraud and abuse across state government; not something Bill Cole has been able to do," the spokesman wrote in an email. "He will focus on creating jobs to grow revenue to close the Medicaid and other budget gaps. Jim is a businessman who will make a top-to-bottom evaluation of the budget, make responsible decisions and will always protect working families."
Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail on 2016 West Virginia governor race Sep 3, 2016

Patrick Morrisey: Was lobbyist for pharmaceutical distributors; wife still is

The fight against [prescription pill over-distribution] is complex, as one look at Morrisey's career path makes plain: "In my past practice I was the co-chair of a large healthcare pharmaceutical practice. I had worked on Capitol Hill before. So I've done a lot of compliance work, regulatory work," Morrisey said.

We asked, "From 2010-12 were you lobbying on behalf of pharmaceutical distributors?"

"Well I was a private lawyer and we did do some lobbying work," Morrisey explained.

As a lobbyist, Morrisey was paid $250,000 to represent a pharmaceutical trade group funded by some of the same distributors WV is now suing. He also took more than $8,000 in political contributions from Cardinal Health, a defendant in one of the state's lawsuits. The WV bar was concerned enough about a potential conflict to launch an investigation. Morrisey says he is now "permanently screened" from the case. That didn't end the questions. Morrisey's wife is a lobbyist. One of her biggest clients? Cardinal Health.

Source: CBS News on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Jun 2, 2016

Jeff Kessler: ObamaCare gets thousands of the poor onto Medicaid

Kessler embraces the Affordable Care Act, saying that putting thousands of poor West Virginians on Medicaid is a positive. Kessler also spent considerable time during the recent legislative session speaking on behalf of labor, and that included organizing a rally of hundreds of union members at the Capitol.
Source: W.V. MetroNews on 2016 West Virginia gubernatorial race Jun 23, 2015

Shelley Moore Capito: Vote for repeal & replace; but work for fixing ObamaCare

Q: Your views on the Affordable Care Act?

Capito: "What I would vote for is to repeal and replace. I've voted for that 50 times but I also recognize that the ACA has some good things about it. So we need to keep what's good and replace it with what will work."

Tennant: "I will never go back to the days when insurance companies can deny insurance for someone with a pre-existing condition."

Source: WV MetroNews on 2014 West Virginia Senate debate Oct 8, 2014

John Buckley: Less government in healthcare; more individual choice

The path to reform of America's health care lies precisely in the opposite direction of ObamaCare: less government, more individual choice. Enabling consumers to attain direct control of their health insurance, rather than obtaining coverage through their employers or through the government, will provide the incentives to control costs. The lack of 1st-party cost-consciousness, where currently the bulk of medical expenses are paid for by 3rd-party payors, contributes to a spiral in the overall cost of health care. The result is that millions find health care insurance unaffordable; but that problem is due to the government's distortion of the health care market in the first place. Freeing consumers to purchase health insurance offered across state lines, allowing an open market with respect to consumer choice on benefits, co-pays, and catastrophic coverage, and equalizing the tax consequences of purchasing health insurance directly from an insurer are immediate steps to health care reform.
Source: 2014 West Virginia Senate campaign website JohnBuckley.org Aug 31, 2014

John Buckley: ObamaCare is a Big Government bacterial infection

Too much government has messed up the health care system in the United States. ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, has disrupted the health insurance coverage of, and increased premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for, millions of Americans. Worse, its perverse incentives draw millions of others into greater dependence on government health programs. In addition, it will significantly slow economic growth and kill jobs. Obama's continuing patches, "fixes," delays, and selective exemptions only highlight that ObamaCare is an ongoing disaster. It was fraudulently sold ("You can keep your doctor if you want to"), hastily packaged ("we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it"), and rammed through despite the public's consistent opposition.

My opponents propose an aspirin to "fix" the government mess; I propose market-based solutions as an antibiotic to Big Government's bacterial infection.

Source: 2014 West Virginia Senate campaign website, JohnBuckley.org Aug 31, 2014

John Raese: ObamaCare relies on poor business model; use private-sector

The disastrous ObamaCare rollout in recent weeks underscores Raese's long-held contention that the federal government shouldn't be in businesses that belong in the private sector.

Now all can see what ObamaCare critics like the business-savvy Raese was trying to tell us in 2012, namely what a terribly poor business model ObamaCare has. Without millions of younger Americans to participate in ObamaCare to offset all of the older participants, ObamaCare can't possibly work.

However, what are the odds of getting enough of these young Americans to pay higher health care insurance premiums when they don't feel the need for expensive plans in the first place? Everyone sees this--now. Raese saw problems like this from the beginning.

John Raese was the state's Number One challenger to ObamaCare in his races against Manchin. He tried to tell us.

Source: Huntington News editorial on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 21, 2013

Natalie Tennant: Supports access to insurance for all

President Obama has pushed the national Democratic Party farther to the left on everything from health care to the environment to gun control. That's a problem for U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant.

Take ObamaCare for example, which is losing popularity due to the mismanaged enrollment process. Tennant wants to find the right balance on ObamaCare. During a recent appearance on Talkline, when asked directly whether she would have voted for or against ACA if she were in the Senate, Tennant equivocated. "We need to have West Virginians have the ability to have access to health care," Tennant said. "I am going to vote for West Virginians, the 270,000 (uninsured), to be able to have access to health care, to not deny these individuals."

It was a way of supporting the concept of insurance for all, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, without actually saying she supports ObamaCare.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 20, 2013

Natalie Tennant: FactCheck: GOP says 147,000 lose insurance; really 8,800

About 8,800 West Virginia residents stand to lose their health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act's new requirements for insurance plans. The health care reform law requires citizens to enroll in health insurance but also includes a list of requirements for health insurance plans. Insurance providers must cancel or change plans that don't meet those requirements.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out a press release attempting to tie the Affordable Care Act to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. The NRSC claimed 147,000 West Virginia residents "are at risk of losing their health insurance," but a health care analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said that figure is far above any estimates he's seen, which are around 28,000.

An NRSC spokesperson said the group obtained its numbers from census data, although the Daily Mail could not find that number on the census website.

Source: Herald-Dispatch AdWatch on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Nov 14, 2013

Michael Folk: No universally-accessible public health insurance

Q: Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?

A: No.

Q: Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?

A: No.

Q: Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?

A: Yes.

Folk adds, "I support of allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines... I do not support increased government bureaucracy which results in higher costs to all citizens."

Source: West Virginia State 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Manchin III: ObamaCare makes healthcare more affordable for everyone

Manchin said the goal of ObamaCare is to make healthcare more affordable for everyone which would result in a healthier population and lower healthcare costs.

But Raese deems ObamaCare as part of the problem.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Reform & repair ObamaCare, not repeal

On health care, Manchin and Raese clashed over the Affordable Health Care Act. Manchin says a complete upheaval of the law would be the wrong idea. "I have been for reforming, repairing, and not repealing. Pre-existing conditions is wrong," Manchin said. "You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, sometimes you just have to change the water every now and then."

Raese disagrees with that. In 2010, Raese fully supported a full repeal of the bill. And he still does. "This country, right now, I call it a coalition of taking. They are taking our money, they are taking our power, and they are taking our freedom, and they are giving it government to control. That's unacceptable," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: ObamaCare is the problem, not the solution

Manchin said the goal of ObamaCare is to make healthcare more affordable for everyone which would result in a healthier population and lower healthcare costs.

But Raese deems ObamaCare as part of the problem.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Bob Wise: $1.5M to provide healthcare access for every child

This Legislature has acted wisely in establishing a Children’s Health Insurance Program to help the uninsured children of working families. But this program has yet to reach many eligible children.

I have included one and a half million dollars in the budget to cover additional children. And we will work aggressively - and cut through red tape - to make sure every child in West Virginia has access to coverage - whether under CHIP, Medicaid, or private insurance. Every child. That’s my goal.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: Improve patient rights by allowing to sue HMOs

We have a patient bill of rights law, so they say, in West Virginia - but patients will tell you, it does not grant them very many rights. I want to fix that. I will present for your consideration a new Patient Bill of Rights, which includes a fast, impartial grievance procedure for disputes, independent reviews of coverage denials, and the right to sue an HMO for negligence that results in harm to a patient.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: More discounts for prescription drugs

We now have a strategy to contain prescription drug costs: we’re going to create a pharmacy benefit program for our poorest senior citizens. We’re going to expand the discount program for seniors above the poverty level. We’re developing a drug benefit plan that could be an add-on for people on Medicare and employer-based insurance. And we’re going to pool the buying power of all the state agencies that purchase medicine and use this to drive a harder bargain with the drug companies.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of West Virginia Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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