West Virginians scored a huge win today! WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin decided to accept federal funds available under the health care law to cover more hardworking women and families through the Medicaid program. After months of activism by fantastic on-the-ground organizations like WVFREE and state advocates, Governor Tomblin made the right call.

Why this decision is so important? Today’s announcement means that:

  • Over 67,000 women in West Virginia could be eligible for coverage.
  • When combined with other reforms in the health care law, this coverage expansion could reduce uninsurance in West Virginia by over 67%.
  • It will bring in $721 million federal dollars, and could save West Virginians over $281 million in uncompensated care costs.

Why Medicaid Expansion is Good for West Virginia

What’s more, Governor Tomblin’s decision aligns with public beliefs. A recent public poll found wide-ranging support for covering more people through the Medicaid program. Two–thirds of respondents in this national survey want their state to accept the federal money and provide health insurance to state residents who are uninsured—helping them get preventive care and stay out of hospital emergency rooms.

The bottom-line: West Virginians deserve the financial security of having health coverage and the health care they need, when they need it. Today’s decision is a major step forward for all West Virginians.