Although Congress hasn't presented the American public with a clear replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act – the ideas proposed so far are unlikely to make coverage more affordable or allow everyone who has coverage now to keep it. Uncertainty surrounding the ACA is also making it difficult for health plans to stay in the marketplace because they don’t know how to price their plans for next year.
But as members of Congress left Washington today for their February recess, Republicans made it clear they still intend to repeal the ACA.
When it comes to Medicaid - Congressional leaders have proposed replacing Medicaid funding with a block grant or per capita cap program. Under a block grant, states would receive a pre-set amount of funding for Medicaid. Under the per capita payment proposal, federal funding per enrollee would be capped.
Both of these options would likely cut funding to Medicaid and may even eliminate Medicaid expansion – something West Virginia Congressional leaders have spoken strongly against. More than 165,000 West Virginians received healthcare coverage because of the program's expansion.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.