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West Virginia teacher with cancer, others demand affordable health care


Samantha Nelson; Lori Hausvater; Dale Lee (WVEA); Betty Maxwell


Charleston, West Virginia (CNN) – At 25, Samantha Nelson is fighting two battles — one against cancer, and the other for a long-term fix to West Virginia’s employee health insurance program.

“It does feel a little bit like an insult,” the high school English teacher told CNN about a deal Tuesday to raise teacher pay. “It’s like they haven’t been hearing anything we’ve been saying. It’s diverting attention from the original problem.”

The original problem, she said, is more affordable health care.

Nelson is torn, like many of her fellow teachers, about what may come next after Gov. Jim Justice reached a tentative pay deal with union leaders that was designed to end a four-day walkout and send teachers back to the classroom. But the state late Wednesday said public schools in the majority of counties will remain closed Thursday.