Changes to Medicaid funding could affect WV’s children

The fight to preserve health insurance for children in West Virginia is coming, said Renate Pore, interim executive director of the advocacy group West Virginians for Affordable Health Care on Friday.

At the first gathering of the Kids Health Partnership, activists, state officials, and representatives of the health insurance industry met to form a coalition to address the challenges facing children’s health care coverage and issues like obesity and mental and behavioral health treatment for children in West Virginia.

With the fate of the Affordable Care Act in peril and debates over federal funding for Medicaid, coverage for approximately 200,000 West Virginia children insured under Medicaid lies in the balance. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have suggested changes to the way Medicaid is funded, with ideas like block grants, in which the federal government provides a fixed amount of money annually to pay for a state’s entire Medicaid program. Another alternative are per-capita caps, which place a limit on how much money the federal government would spend on each Medicaid beneficiary.

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