West Virginia is independent and free, but it has never been easy to survive in our mountains, which present challenges as well as opportunities to those who live here. Thankfully, the federal government provides help to our aging population with programs like Medicare and Social Security. And with high unemployment, low wages , and widespread poverty widespread, many West Virginians are eligible for Medicaid and other forms of assistance like SNAP (food stamps).
Money that comes into WV from the federal government doesn’t just help individuals and families, it helps the WV economy: grocery stores, hospitals, and any number of other businesses depend on the flow of money from taxpayers around the country, through Washington and then spent in our communities.
So when a federal budget is presented that cuts those programs, like President Trump’s recent budget does, it not only threatens the individuals who receive the assistance, it threatens our whole economy. President Trump’s budget would also cut SNAP benefits by kicking people off who can’t find steady work. According to Karen Allen of the WV Center for Budget and Policy, in many rural areas, SNAP purchases can account for as much as 20 to 30 percent of grocery store sales.
Our Congressional representatives, David McKinley, Alex Mooney, and Carol Miller are all members of President Trump’s party, and so is Senator Capito. Shouldn’t they be standing up for us and telling President Trump to stop taking actions that would hurt our state? We know the president has hoped to bring coal jobs back to WV with limited success, but if hundreds of thousands of us lose health insurance and businesses and hospitals lose revenue, are we really better off?
Call your representatives and ask them where they stand on the president’s budget and his lawsuit to throw out coverage for pre-existing conditions.