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Sen. Capito elaborates on rejection of GOP health care bill


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said it wasn’t difficult for her to say “no” to the Republican health care bill.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito confers with an aide before a news interview on Capitol Hill in Washingon Wednesday.
(Associated Press photo)

“I determined about a week ago this bill was not a bill I could support,” Capito shared on a conference call Wednesday.

“I lost a bit of my appetite about it. I was so concerned about the impact for West Virginians. In the end, it was not a hard decision.”

Specifically, Capito drew the line on the following aspects of the bill: it does not ensure affordable access to care; it doesn’t do enough to combat the opioid epidemic; it cuts traditional Medicaid too steeply; and the loss of Medicaid dollars would adversely affect nursing homes and hospitals.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote on the bill, Capito said she will continue working to perfect it to better serve West Virginians.

She said after studying the legislation of the Senate version of the health care bill, along with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis, she determined the bill would not improve the lives of many West Virginians.

“And in some cases, it would make it worse.”

She said she’s asking for the following fixes to the bill: to ensure subsidies are in the lower income brackets so affordable insurance is attainable on the individual market; $45 billion toward the most deeply opioid-impacted states to pay for services and treatment for addicted residents; and Medicaid reforms to ensure the monies put forward over the next 10-year window are adequate to keep up with the growth of Medicaid.

“I came to Washington to make the lives of West Virginians better,” Capito said. “For years, I’ve heard concerns about Obamacare and the effects it’s having.”

She cited small business owners who struggle to purchase insurance due to rising premiums costs, as well as West Virginia having the largest per capita Medicaid population.

In finding a solution on a health care plan for the country, she said a balance must be met. She acknowledged the worries and concerns of many Americans as the bill moves through Congress, as health care is a personal issue.

“For me to support a bill, it must provide West Virginians with affordable health care coverage. I want to ensure any replacement improves the lives of citizens.”

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