Sustained Outrage

Health plans for everyone

My Saturday column listed a few of the things that West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin proposed to extend health insurance to at least some of the 245,000 West Virginians who don’t have it. Insurance means access to timely health care. Without it, it can be hard to get through the door to see a doctor. People who don’t have it tend to put off medical care until their suffering is unbearable, and their problems are more difficult — and more costly — to treat.

Renate Pore of the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy has been analyzing health policy in West Virginia since 1991 and has worked in community health care even longer. She has a more thorough rundown of what she thinks will work and what won’t.

Meanwhile, the Legislature’s Select Committee D created the Roadmap to Health Project. Lawmakers paid $100,000 for consultant Kenneth E. Thorpe, an Emory University professor and former health official in the Clinton Administration, to compile solutions to this enduring problem. Thorpe gave his report in January.