A health care policy expert at West Virginia University explains that the proposed American Health Care Act could be “particularly harmful for West Virginia” in the loss of individual coverage and more than $1 billion in federal funds, as well as a loss of 15,000 jobs.

House GOP members proposed the plan Monday to replace the Affordable Care Act by 2020.

“With one of the oldest populations in the country, West Virginians would also be disproportionately affected by provisions to charge older individuals up to five times as much as younger ones,” said Simon Haeder, an assistant professor in the West Virginia University John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy & Politics and the Department of Political Science.

Haeder’s research focuses on healthcare and health policy (including the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, provider networks, provider quality and insurance regulation), regulatory politics, and state and local government.

“Phasing out mental health benefits, combined with reductions in Medicaid enrollment, will provide a significant setback for the fight against the opioid epidemic, as insurers will not be required to cover treatment and as fewer individuals would have coverage,” Haeder said.

He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 559.908.2704.

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.