CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) says the health care reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this month needs to be changed to include coverage for pre-existing conditions and Medicaid expansion.
“I think it’s too drastic,” Capito said of the House version’s plan of the American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare.
The U.S. Senate could rewrite the bill before a final vote.
“I think we have to clarify that and make sure that those with pre-existing conditions are absolutely covered,” Capito said.
She continued, “People with pre-existing conditions probably need health care more than anybody else, except for possibly elderly folks.”
Nearly 180,000 West Virginian rely on the Medicaid expansion. Capito said she’s committed to protecting those people.
“I’m not interested in just dropping them off a cliff and saying ‘Good luck — that was a nice three years. I hope you enjoyed it’ — we’ve got to find a way,” she said.
West Virginians need to be kept in the system whether they’re on Medicaid or not, Capito said.
“I think we have to have — some people say a softer landing, a longer ramp, a better way for the state — to give the governor some flexibility, so the money can be used differently and more flexibly and hopefully then coverage will come to those 180,000,” she said.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has come out against the American Health Care Act.
All three of West Virginia’s congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) voted for the bill.