In an interview with the Washington Post, Sen. Jay Rockefeller predicted Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will expand the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
The Tomblin administration previously has said they are waiting for results of an actuarial study of the expansion before making that determination.
But Rockefeller seems confident Tomblin — so far the only Democrat governor in the country to remain undecided on the Medicaid expansion — will go through with it. Here’s the senior senator’s statement:
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with our governor about it. Obamacare, as its called in West Virginia, is not much more popular than the president. He carried no counties at all in 2012.
I think the governor is doing what he should be doing…He’s being very careful, he’s talking to all stakeholders. He’s the only Democrat who hasn’t done it, but that’s not considered a disgrace at all. I think he’s biding his time. He’s very much aware of the 100 percent followed by the 90 percent.
My guess would be that [Gov.]Earl Ray Tomblin will end up doing it. He will pave the way very carefully and very cautiously smart.”
Tomblin was in Washington, D.C. earlier this week for a national governors meeting. As NPR reported, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met individually with governors during that meeting to see how the White House might persuade them to expand the program.
The federal government has promised to pay 100 percent of additional Medicaid costs for the first three years of the expansion, with states’ picking up part of the bill after that time.