April 20, 2021 by WVCBP
It’s Time for Real Change in W.Va.

Wheeling Intelligencer, Associated Press - If the human toll is not enough reason for some elected and bureaucratic officials to take seriously the fight against substance abuse in our state, here is one that might come closer to speaking their language: According to the Center on Budget and Policy, treating and addressing substance abuse and…

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April 17, 2021 by WVCBP
Statehouse Beat: D-word Best Describes Past Session

Charleston Gazette-Mail - I was trying to find a word that sums up the 2021 legislative session, and after much consideration, it came to me: Despicable. Read the full article. Despicable, in that the Legislature committed acts of cruelty for no reason but the sheer pleasure they derived from doing so. They passed a despicable…

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April 10, 2021 by WVCBP
Nevermind that these Lawmakers Failed Miserably

Beckley Register-Herald - Our governor and West Virginia’s supermajority Republican legislators, from backbenchers to those wearing the mantle of leadership, ignored too many of the state’s myriad problems to debate, instead, ideological and cultural hot button issues that they believed, we can only imagine, would play well with their base. Read the full op-ed. While…

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April 7, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
Three Ways the American Rescue Plan Improves West Virginians’ Health

Just last month, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) celebrated its eleventh birthday. The ACA is the most extensive health care reform law in the United States since the passage of Medicaid and Medicare in 1965. The ACA has granted over 20 million Americans more affordable and accessible health insurance. Beyond that, it has touched the lives of…

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April 5, 2021 by WVCBP
Report: Drug Addiction Cost West Virginia an Estimated $11B in 2019

Insurance Journal - Treating and addressing drug addiction cost West Virginia an estimated $11.3 billion in one year, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy. Read the full article. The report, written by economist Jill Kriesky, says the state spent that much in 2019 on issues that stem from the addiction…

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April 1, 2021 by WVCBP
Groups Push to Reject WV Bills Seen as Punitive

Public News Service - Advocates for impoverished people are urging West Virginia lawmakers to oppose two bills being heard in a House committee Thursday, that they claim punish low-income people and drug users. Read the full article. Senate Bill 387 would make permanent a pilot program that screens recipients of the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,…

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March 26, 2021 by WVCBP
Jill Kriesky: What Harm Reduction Could Save (Opinion)

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Recently, the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy released “Saving Lives and Saving Money: The Case for Harm Reduction in Kanawha County.” Read the full op-ed. As its author, I uncovered available data on the fatality and nonfatality costs associated with the drug epidemic in Kanawha County. I don’t need to…

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March 25, 2021 by WVCBP
West Virginia’s Drug Crisis Cost $11.3B in One Year. Help Is on the Way.

Hep Mag, POZ - West Virginia will receive $2.4 million in federal funding to help the state prevent and treat HIV, The Associated Press reports. The money arrives as an HIV outbreak among injection drug users shone a national spotlight on the state’s opioid epidemic and sparked debates about syringe exchanges and the economic burdens that result…

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March 25, 2021 by WVCBP
COVID Highlighted West Virginia’s Racial Health Disparities, but Lawmakers Haven’t Acted on a Bill to Help

Mountain State Spotlight, Beckley Register-Herald - Six weeks after Gov. Jim Justice began his daily pandemic press briefings, Marion County resident Romelia Hodges was frustrated. Read the full article. It was a month to-the-day after West Virginia had lost its first resident to the virus: 88-year-old Viola York Horton, a Black woman from Fairmont who loved to…

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March 24, 2021 by Rhonda Rogombe
Bipartisan Medicaid Bill Introduced in WV Legislature Could Reduce Churn and Expand Insured Population

Since its inception in 1965, Medicaid has been one of the most impactful anti-poverty public health initiatives in the United States. Medicaid provides low-income Americans with free or low-cost health insurance, allowing them to receive treatment that may otherwise be inaccessible. The program has expanded significantly since its origin to include more people; today, it…

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