14 October 2009

Weighing in on Health Care

Far more subdued than Tuesday's hearings on mountaintop removal mining was the Culture Center forum on health care. As The Associated Press reports, players including the state chamber of commerce, West Virginia's largest private insurer and a statewide network of community health centers were among those taking part.

During the nearly two-hour discussion, "the need for a public option in the developing federal legislation appeared to be the biggest disagreement," AP reports. "Panelists appeared more solidly behind expanding the existing Medicaid program."

And as AP explains, the conversation was partly framed by Tuesday's emergence of a health care bill from the Senate Finance Committee.

"The measure meets most of the requirements set out by President Barack Obama," the article said. "He had promised voters during his campaign to overhaul the system by extending insurance coverage to virtually all Americans, lowering medical costs and ending insurance industry practices of refusing protection to people with so-called pre-existing conditions or dropping coverage to those who become seriously ill."

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., voted for the bill in committee.

The Charleston Gazette also has an item on the forum.

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