Kudos Conductor Sir. That was mesmerizing! Been in many plane cockpits, but that was my 1st @ train. The slow get-go made it even more exhilarating once we were rolling. And I was determined to guess the whereabouts... but well into the nearly 2.5hrs I still had no clue, but loved the scenery. Thanks for that ride indeed.
So coal-mining jobs have been disappearing for a long time. Even in West Virginia, the most coal-oriented state, it has been a quarter century since they accounted for as much as 5 percent of total employment.
What, then, do West Virginians actually do for a living these days? Well, many of them work in health care: Almost one in six workers is employed in the category “health care and social assistance.”
Oh, and where does the money for those health care jobs come from? Actually, a lot of it comes from Washington.
West Virginia has a relatively old population, so 22 percent of its residents are on Medicare, versus 16.7 percent for the nation as a whole. It’s also a state that has benefited hugely from Obamacare, with the percentage of the population lacking health insurance falling from 14 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2015; these gains came mainly from a big expansion of Medicaid.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration and its allies just tried to replace the Affordable Care Act. If they had succeeded, the effect would have been catastrophic for West Virginia, slashing Medicaid and sending insurance premiums for lower-income, older residents soaring. ... And aside from the devastating effect on coverage, think about how the Republican assault on Obamacare would have affected the health sector that now employs so many West Virginians. It’s almost certain that the job losses from Trumpcare cuts would have greatly exceeded any possible gains in coal.
So West Virginia voted overwhelmingly against its own interests.