The DHHR report says 32,000 West Virginians under 18 would be added to the Medicaid rolls by 2019, but the Census says there are only 9,000 uninsured West Virginians under 19, at 200 percent of poverty. The highest health reform cutoff is 150 percent of poverty.
The House Health committee told the Gazette and The Associated Press the meeting was a private working meeting and closed to the press, but a Daily Mail reporter attended the meeting.
Most of this week's controversy has centered around DHHR's statement that 193,000 West Virginians would be newly insured by Medicaid in 2010.
Law said that number came from a summary prepared by the federal House Energy and Commerce Committee. Staff there confirmed Tuesday that the number represents all West Virginians who would get health insurance, not just Medicaid.
"Many would not be covered by Medicaid. They would be split between Medicaid and the exchange," a committee spokesperson said.
The DHHR number is inflated for a second reason, he said. DHHR assumed that the 193,000 was a 2010 figure, so they projected that it would expand to 260,000 by 2019, Law said.
But the 193,000 is already a 2019 estimate, Energy and Commerce staff said. DHHR expanded the number a second time.
Health Care Authority Chairwoman Sonia Chambers attended Tuesday meeting, as did Jim Pitrolo of Gov. Joe Manchin's staff. "We're going to work with the Health Care Authority as we look at these numbers," Law said.
Perdue said he is pleased that the Health Care Authority will be involved this time. "Anybody could make a miscalculation. We're going to need accurate figures, so we're pleased they're willing to take another look."
Reach Kate Long at katel...@wvgazette.com or (304) 343-1884.