The Mountain State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.


Learn more about HD Media

If our West Virginia Attorney General has his way in court, it could be catastrophic for health care, causing more Mountain State residents to suffer.

Patrick Morrisey has signed our whole state on in support of the Texas vs. United States lawsuit which seeks to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The Northern District Federal Court in Texas has ruled in favor of this contorted lawsuit and, on July 9, arguments will be heard in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. This poison pill lawsuit is eventually heading for the Republican-packed U.S. Supreme Court, which has a different make up than the one which originally upheld the ACA during president Obama’s term. The whole nation should be concerned about this threat to our healthcare, but especially we West Virginians.

Sick people without health insurance tend to put off going for treatment. As a result, they, get sicker and die quicker. This is especially true for folks who are already living from paycheck to paycheck.

In our state, around 160,000 now have access to healthcare just from the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. If the ACA goes away, so does their health coverage. Many West Virginians will die for lack of affordable health care. Why is Morrisey doing this? To make a political point? To fulfill a campaign promise?

Stories you might like

Pre-existing conditions are also covered by the ACA. If it is thrown out, folks will again be at the mercy of the insurance industry who will hike premiums on them until they can’t afford it, if insurance coverage is available at all for their condition.

These horrific examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

Morrrisey’s lawsuit will make our state economy sicker too. Rural hospitals who rely on Medicaid dollars to stay afloat will see an increase in uncompensated care and many could close with loss of precious jobs in our rural economies.

It’s a deadly public policy to kill off the Affordable Care Act with nothing to replace it. Sure it’s not perfect — but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We should fix what’s not working with ACA and continue moving toward universal coverage for everyone in our state and nation. After all, healthcare is a human right, not a marketplace commodity.

Citizens who think that our great state should not be signed onto the Texas vs. U.S. court effort to kill the ACA should let Morrisey know how they feel. His office number is 304-558-2021. Our attorney general is up for reelection next year. Voters should remember this next November.

Gary Zuckett is co-executitive director of West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

Recommended for you