Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer
Under Obamacare states can expand their Medicaid programs to cover, not just people on welfare, but working families whose employers don't provide health insurance and who can't afford to buy it for themselves. This program will cover families with income levels up to $30,000 for a family of four. Older single folks and childless couples who aren't old enough for Medicare are also eligible.
This is not welfare. It's health coverage for working people who can't get affordable coverage on their own. How much will it cost West Virginia's state government? Not one penny for the first three years, and only 10 percent of the cost thereafter. The federal government picks up the tab.
Every Democratic governor in the country is moving forward with implementing this plan -- except for Gov. Tomblin. Many Republican governors who strongly opposed Obamacare have decided to implement this program to provide health coverage for moderate income working people through Medicaid, ranging from moderates like Chris Christie of New Jersey through solid conservatives like Bob McDonnell of Virginia to right wingers like Rick Scott of Florida. They realize the health and welfare of their citizens are more important than political posturing.
West Virginia has a higher percentage of working people without health coverage than almost any other state. As one of the poorest states in the nation, we can't afford to lose this opportunity to help the hardworking folks who can't get coverage on their own.
A side benefit is that the program would pump more than $300 million a year into our state's economy, providing thousands of badly needed jobs.
It seems to me that implementing Medicaid expansion to cover working people is a no-brainer.