2017-08-02 / Opinions

Capito missed her chance

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s vote last week to back a repeal of Obamacare may have won back her reputation as a Republican party faithful in the Senate, but will cost her support in West Virginia.

Capito had previously stood her ground in rejecting White House healthcare plans because they would have cut people off Medicaid now and in the future. She had said the proposals would hit West Virginians too hard.

Medicaid serves low-income people, those on disability and makes payments for care for the elderly and those with special needs. Given the Mountain State’s demographics, cuts to Medicaid would have been a deep punch to state residents. With West Virginia’s own financial troubles, there isn’t a way to fill the gap today if 200,000 state residents lose their health insurance, payments for medical services or health coverage.

But Shelley’s strong stance melted away as the President demanded the GOP pass a repeal bill. Capito joined her party in voting for the bill, which died on swing votes by Republicans.

Had Capito stuck by her earlier position that the repeal bill posed a threat to West Virginians, she would have made a name for herself as a politician willing to put her constituents ahead of political party. Instead, many West Virginians are wondering what she was promised to change course on the healthcare bill. Whatever the “deal” was, Capito will have a tough time proving she cast her vote with West Virginians in mind.

Return to top