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Tomblin to announce decision on state Medicaid expansion

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has decided whether West Virginia should expand Medicaid through the federal health care law.

Tomblin is unveiling the state's plans Thursday at St. Francis Hospital in Charleston. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller and hospital executives are scheduled to join him.

The Democratic governor is basing his decision on a financial analysis of the potential benefits and pitfalls of expansion. The state already is struggling with Medicaid costs. But federal funds would cover new enrollees almost entirely.

Both supporters and foes of the federal overhaul believe the governor will expand Medicaid. The federal law calls on states to cover more low-income adults through Medicaid. About 166,000 more West Virginians would qualify.

While 22 states so far plan to expand Medicaid, another 14 have decided against it.


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