"More than 200,000 West Virginians have gained healthcare insurance coverage under various provisions of the ACA since the law’s enactment. According to West Virginia Medicaid, 178,394 individuals have gained coverage under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program, which amounts to a 61% percent increase in coverage since the State expanded Medicaid in 2013. Another 33,236 West Virginians have become insured by purchasing subsidized healthcare plans on the ACA exchange. It has been widely acknowledged that West Virginia has experienced one of the most dramatic decreases in its uninsured population as a result of the ACA. West Virginia’s uninsured rate plummeted from 14% in 2013 to just 6% in 2015. The Urban Institute projects that even a partial repeal in the ACA will result in a 208% increase in West Virginia’s uninsured.
An ACA repeal also would mean the widespread elimination of perhaps the most effective arsenal in West Virginia’s on-going fight against its opioid epidemic: mental health and substance abuse treatment. See, e.g., Natalie Schreyer, Expert Says ACA Repeal Would Hurt WV Medicaid Recipients, Charleston Gazette-Mail (Jan. 7, 2017); Wendy Holdren, ACA Repeal Could be Detrimental to Fight Against Opioid Epidemic in WV, The Register-Herald (Jan. 12, 2017). West Virginia suffers the highest opioid overdose death rate in the United States. As The Register-Herald explained this week, “nearly 205,000 [West Virginians] who suffer from both [substance abuse disorder and
mental illness] are at risk of losing coverage.” As Senator Joe Manchin aptly acknowledged, “[w]ith our state leading the nation in drug overdose deaths, West Virginians cannot afford to have this critical funding ripped from them with a replacement ready.” "