Governor Manchin gave his State of the State Address last night, and you can find the text of his speech here. The cornerstone o the speech:
And so, tonight I am proposing two new public/private health initiatives to help these West Virginians get the affordable healthcare they need.
The first is a pilot project that will provide doctor visits, basic testing and reduced prices on prescriptions at a very affordable price. The “Preventive Care Clinic-Based Plan” will set up sites around the state at primary care clinics or private doctors offices. Up to eight providers can participate, and have up to three sites each. The program will allow subscribers access to primary care services such as checkups, sick visits, x-rays and lab tests at the participating clinic or doctors office for one monthly fee. This is not insurance and does not cover specialists or hospital costs, but it does provide basic preventive care at a very low price – starting at some clinics for as low as $1 a day.
The second proposal is called the Affordable Insurance Initiative. This effort provides for affordable insurance plans for individuals who want, and can afford, more in-depth coverage than the Clinic-Based plan. While it is not the Cadillac of healthcare programs, it is a form of meaningful, and portable, insurance that will provide the crucial primary and preventive services individuals and families need to meet the majority of their healthcare concerns. Once approved by the Legislature, this plan will be offered by commercial insurance carriers starting at a low cost of $99 per month.
Both of these new healthcare initiatives are affordable, cost effective and require no state subsidies. Make no mistake – these are bold steps. They serve as an example of how government and the private sector can work together to provide basic health services to the vast majority of West Virginians without health coverage.
Put the Preventive Care and Affordable Insurance plans together, and I believe we will be taking one of the most important actions towards improving the health and well being of our state’s citizens and workforce for many years to come and setting a new standard for the rest of the country to follow. The sooner we can provide preventive care to our workers, the better off we all will be and the more lives we can save.
I will keep my eye on that.
Gov. Manchin also unveiled a number of other proposals, did the usual recounting of the job growth (and it appears some substantial gains have been made, and in general, delivered a pretty interesting speech. I did learn something else new in the speech, and that is the following:
As an example, Workforce West Virginia is currently coordinating with Shepherd Community College, the James Rumsey Vocational Education Center and Sino-Swearingen in Martinsburg to establish a training center directly in Sino-Swearingen’s work site to ensure that students are being taught the specific skills that this growing aircraft company needs now.
it seems to me this is the type of flexibility that is necessary to draw large businesses to West Virginia. I am unsure if this is a new approach to things, but it certainly seems to make sense. Any thoughts?
Manchin also unveiled pro-business signs which will be placed all over the state that say ‘West Virginia- Open For Business.’
BTW- Manchin’s latest poll numbers give him a 67% approval rating.