April 9, 2013
On April 8, the West Virginia House Health Committee rejected a bill that had passed the state senate unanimously and would have allowed health departments to charge individuals or insurers for HIV testing. Although officials said that tests would have been provided without charge or on a sliding scale fee for those unable to pay, delegates were concerned that individuals would read that health departments were charging for tests and would be deterred from getting tested. Currently ranking 40th in HIV prevalence, West Virginia has lost more than $600,000 in federal funding throughout the past two years for its HIV/AIDS programming and had hoped to be able to charge for HIV testing. As the Affordable Care Act will insure more individuals, the federal government is encouraging local and state governments to charge insurers for services that have been taxpayer-funded in the past.