CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A longtime physician with the New River Health Association in Fayette County is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to "take full advantage of the Medicaid expansion opportunity available under the Affordable Care Act of 2010."
Dr. Dan Doyle sent a letter to Tomblin last week as chairman of a group called the Fayetteville Fair Share PAC.
Expanding Medicaid coverage would also require the state to pay for part of the increased medical benefits.
Doyle wrote, "With this expansion, almost 120,000 West Virginians would become eligible for health care coverage in 2014."
Fifty-three percent of the new beneficiaries would be young people, between the ages of 19 and 34, working in agricultural and service jobs, Doyle said.
Today, 40 percent of West Virginians between the ages of 18 and 64, who are below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, are uninsured.
"The federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of this expansion for the first three years," Doyle wrote, "and not less than 90 percent thereafter."
The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy, based in Charleston, estimates that maximum participation in Medicaid expansion would bring more than $3.7 billion in federal money into the state over six years.