As the date rolls closer for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and in the same week that the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the thirty-odd time to repeal the law, the Wheeling Intelligencer reported on a doctor forced to close his doors due to Obamacare. The reason given is that the cost of transferring his records to an electronic system was unaffordable. However, as Brandon’s blog post explains, there is not a provision in the ACA that requires doctors to do this.
Leading up to its decision to expand Medicaid, the state of Kentucky took an in-depth analysis of the costs and benefits and found that expansion would save the state about $800 million over eight years. Applying this model to West Virginia shows that the state would save $320 million through 2021. This is a far different picture than the estimates that show expansion costing the state millions. Read more about this interesting study in Brandon’s blog post.
A new method used to measure poverty rates shows that 11% of West Virginia seniors live in poverty. This is slightly higher than previously used measures. What different criteria are taken into account under these methods? Check out Sean’s blog post.
In his other blog post this week, Sean looked at the latest tax incentives given to South Charleston’s Gestamp plant. The plant’s effective tax rate now drops to less than one percent while its employees will likely pay around 9%.
As mentioned above, new tax incentives were announced this week for the Gestamp plant. Ted and Sean were quoted in this State Journal article asking how the state can know whether or not incentives like this actually create jobs or attract businesses to West Virginia when no reliable tracking reporting is done.
This week the WVCBP welcomed our summer Research Associates, Tristan Shorter and Chris Nyden. Both come to us from West Virginia University. Tristan will research the state’s labor force participation rate and assist staff with a survey on legislative fiscal notes. Chris will study the costs of higher education and alternative sources of funding.
Not to be confused with our Fiscal Policy Analyst, Sean O’Leary from the Eastern Panhandle has written “The State of My State: A Native Son’s Search for West Virginia.” The book is a selection of essays from his columns in the Martinsburg Journal. Check out the review by WVCBP Executive Director on the back cover. For more information visit www.the-state-of-my-state.com.
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