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Medicaid work requirements bill would target those most likely to overdose

By ERIN BECK

The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia delegates are set to vote Tuesday on a bill that would terminate health insurance for some low-income West Virginians, a vulnerable population that a state analysis says is especially prone to death by overdose.

Last week, West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Chairman Eric Householder, R-Berkeley, introduced a bill in his committee that would require people who receive Medicaid in West Virginia to work, volunteer or participate in workforce training 20 hours a week.

In 2017, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources released an analysis of more than 800 overdose deaths in 2016 and found that about 71 percent of them were low-income people on Medicaid. About a third of the state’s population is currently on Medicaid.

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