The Affordable Care Act increased the number of West Virginian’s with health insurance in 2016
From the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy:
The data on health insurance coverage showed that 96,000 West Virginians lacked health insurance in 2016, a decrease of 12,000 from 2015. In 2016, 94.7 percent of West Virginians had health insurance.
West Virginia’s gains in health coverage are due primarily to the Affordable Care Act. Between 2013 and 2016, the share of people without health insurance in the Mountain State declined from 14 percent to 5.3 percent. Under the Affordable Care Act, West Virginia has had the 5th largest decrease in its uninsured rate among the 50 states.
Look how far single-payer health care has come: Senator Manchin is willing to consider it
The Senate’s most conservative Democrat said Tuesday Congress should consider adopting a single-payer health-care system, a sign of how fast politics are shifting on what was once seen as a fringe issue on the left.
"It should be explored," said West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who faces re-election next year in a state President Donald Trump carried by 42 points. "I want to know what happens in all the countries that have it -- how well it works or the challenges they have."
Manchin, who was considered by Trump for a cabinet post, said he hopes the legislation will be considered by a congressional committee. He added that he’s not ready to sign onto the Medicare-for-all proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runner-up for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Manchin later issued a statement saying he’s “skeptical that single-payer is the right solution” and that the Senate should “carefully consider all of the options.”
It still has a long way to go but I think that I can safely say that two years ago very few would have thought that a single-payer health plan would be before the U.S. Senate and that a conservative Democrat like Joe Manchin would be willing to consider it.
That it is even on the table is due to the efforts of Bernie Sanders who, by making it an important part of last year’s presidential campaign, has forced the media to cover it. With the failure of the Republican effort to repeal and replace, it’s taken seriously by the media – an important first step.