CHARLESTON, West Virginia — West Virginia officials are ready to say whether the state will expand Medicaid, as allowed by the federal health care law.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin plans to announce his decision Thursday at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston. He will be joined by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller and several hospital chief executives.
The federal health care law calls on states to cover more low-income adults through Medicaid. About 166,000 more West Virginians would qualify. But the U.S. Supreme Court, in upholding the law, ruled that states can't lose federal funds if they don't go ahead with an expansion.
Fourteen states have rejected expansion, while 22 say they will expand.
The Democratic governor is basing his decision on a financial analysis of the potential benefits and pitfalls of expansion. The state is already struggling with Medicaid costs. But federal funds would mostly cover expansion.