Reports & Briefs

March 18, 2021 by WVCBP
Saving Lives and Saving Money: The Case for Harm Reduction in Kanawha County, WV

Read the full report here. Executive Summary There is no doubt to residents and policymakers in West Virginia that the state has a drug epidemic problem that is costly in terms of lives lost annually, as well as expenses incurred for medical and mental health treatment, for law enforcement, and for social services provision. In…

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March 15, 2021 by Sean O'Leary
Pay More, Get Less: The West Virginia FY 2022 Budget Proposal

Overview Governor Jim Justice has proposed what he describes as a “flat” budget for FY 2022, with only minor changes from the FY 2021 budget. While the state budget remained stable during the COVID-19 pandemic, that stability relied on tapping reserves, federal stimulus funding, and other temporary measures. The future budget picture remains troubling, with…

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February 17, 2021 by WVCBP
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in West Virginia in 2020

Introduction The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had profound consequences for West Virginia families and communities, and structural and longstanding health and poverty challenges have been magnified. Before the crisis, West Virginia had the fourth highest poverty rate in the country and among the worst health outcomes and indicators. This made…

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January 6, 2021 by Quenton King
Overcrowded and Overburdened: West Virginia Counties Struggle to Pay Regional Jail Bills

Introduction Because county governments must ultimately pay the costs associated with keeping people behind bars in their local jails, the explosion of county jail incarceration is driving enormous and growing pressure on county budgets. County spending on jails is rising, and the amount billed to counties by the Regional Jail Authority is rising even more…

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December 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
The Case Against Austerity: Why Protecting Investments in West Virginia Families and Communities is Key to COVID-19 Recovery

Introduction With West Virginia still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic recession, the state’s leaders face difficult choices in the upcoming legislative session. The choices legislators make will help determine whether or not West Virginia will have a swift and equitable recovery with an economy that works for everyone. Read the full issue brief.…

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November 3, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
State of Working West Virginia 2020: The State of Racial Inequality

Foreword In 1967, Black Americans marched, protested, and even rioted as decades of systemic racism and oppression came to a head. In response, President Lyndon Johnson established the Kerner Commission, which spent the next year researching, holding hearings, and visiting communities to examine racial inequity in the country. In 1968, the Commission issued its report,…

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October 20, 2020 by Kelly Allen
Smoothing the Transition: A Medicaid Buy-in Could Reduce Churn and Expand Health Insurance Coverage to Thousands of West Virginians

Introduction Despite major gains under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), too many low- and middle- income West Virginians still lack consistent affordable health care coverage options. West Virginia saw the largest drop in the uninsured rate in the country after implementation of the ACA and Medicaid expansion, going from 13.5 percent of the population uninsured…

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September 15, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
A CHIP Buy-in Could Help West Virginia Achieve Universal Coverage for Kids

Introduction The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP is administered at the state level and is usually tied closely to state Medicaid programs. Each state program has its own rules about who qualifies for CHIP. Read the full policy…

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June 24, 2020 by Sean O'Leary
West Virginia’s Prescription Transparency Law Can Address Rising Drug Costs

The cost of prescription drugs is one of the leading health care issues in the United States, accounting for $335 billion of total health care spending in 2018 [1] and over 23 percent of total health insurance premium costs.[2] And the cost of prescription drugs is rising. The cost of prescription drugs is one of…

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