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West Virginia Economy Would Suffer Under Proposed Health Care Plans

June 27, 2017 by

This West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report, West Virginia Economy Would Suffer Under Proposed Health Care Plans, breaks down the economic gains the state has experienced since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the devastating impacts its repeal could have in West Virginia, specifically in rural areas with higher concentrations of health-care jobs.

Over the last decade, the growth in the health-care industry has been one of the few bright spots in the state’s otherwise struggling economy. Repealing the ACA would undo much of the state’s economic progress spurred by ACA and health-care industry. According to the American Hospital Association, West Virginia’s hospitals have a $9.8 billion impact on the state’s economy.

Key Findings
– Since 2008, total private sector jobs in West Virginia have declined by 4.1 percent, while health-care jobs have increased by 9 percent.

– ŸNearly one out-of-every five private sector jobs in West Virginia are in the health-care sector. In West Virginia’s rural counties, one out-of-every six private sector jobs are in health care.

– ŸA total of $3.7 billion was spent on Medicaid services in West Virginia in 2016, including Medicaid expansion, while approximately 30,000 West Virginians received $135.7 million in premium tax credits.

– ŸThe health-care industry accounts for over 10 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and has grown five times faster than the rest of the economy since 2014.

Ÿ- Currently, six of the state’s top 10 private employers are hospitals and health-care providers.

Ÿ-  The American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) could cause West Virginia to lose more than 10,000 jobs and over $1 billion in lost GDP.

Ÿ- The AHCA and the BCRA are estimated to cause 195,000 West Virginians to lose their health coverage, nearly half of the state’s Medicaid population.

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