Healthcare Changes

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

More people will have health insurance coverage with ObamaCare, but it may be tough on West Virginia.

"I think you'll end up swapping one problem for another, at least initially,” says Representative John Ellem, R-Wood County.

People are concerned.

"That there are gonna be more people that are going to be seeing doctors and therefore the shortage that exists in rural parts of West Virginia potentially could be worse,” says Mike Dennis, executive director of the Wood County Senior Citizens Association.

West Virginia may be facing a very real doctor shortage with the president's healthcare initiative but it could work out in the long run.

"You'll see, eventually see less people using the emergency room as a means of receiving medical care,” Ellem says.

The federal government is picking up the bulk of the increased Medicaid cost.

"Whether that will continue to be the case five or six years from now is another matter,” Ellem says. “It concerns some officials that down the road we could see many more millions of dollars in state mandates that are needed to fund this expansion."

The WCSCA is taking a 'wait and see attitude.'

"Healthcare to seniors is a big deal for us and for the people that we provide services to,” Dennis says. “But I think in the long run, you know, after everything kind of calms down, I think you'll see maybe some better healthcare for all West Virginians."

The plan will roll out in October, so time is growing short and hopefully the doctor shortages won't exist for very long.


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