Today at 11 a.m., Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will announce his decision on expanding Medicaid in the state. Watch below for a live stream of the event, or follow along with our live blog. (The broadcast will begin at 10:55 a.m.)
That concludes the ceremony.
Dexter “This is a great day for West Virginia.”
Rev. Randy Flanagan of Christ Church United Methodist now addressing the crowd. “I celebrate this decision today. I personally know and work with people who will be positively affected by this decision. It will make our people and our state healthier. And especially the children.”
Correcting earlier post. Officials believe expansion would affect 91,500 West Virginia residents.
“I support and respect his decision to go forward with this expansion,” Manchin said in a letter.
Kelly Goes, of Manchin’s office, now addressing the crowd. Congratulates Tomblin on Manchin’s behalf.
Regarding Tomblin’s expressed wariness of future changes to Medicaid: “Why would a governor believe what the Congress says? He’s quite proper to take that caution.”
“A lot of politicians are scared of healthcare. They don’t think in terms of how it interlocks.” Don’t think if expand Medicaid, how it would affect the number of uncompensated care patients coming into ERs.
“I’m so proud of our governor.” Rockefeller said Congress has worked for years to pass a healthcare bill. In most recent, Obama-led effort, it barely passed.
Rockefeller: The healthcare bill is “the single most complicated…piece of legislation, including Social Security, that’s ever been passed.”
Rockefeller: “Healthcare is so easy to say and so hard to do. Passing a healthcare bill is so hard to do and so much harder to implement.”
Tomblin introduces Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is now taking the podium.
Tomblin said administration will continue to ask questions of federal government re: Medicaid expansion.
“We will negotiate with the federal government to get the most flexibility possible to control our destiny.”
Tomblin said savings from Department of Health and Human Resources overhaul could be used to pay for Medicaid expansion.
“A decision to expand today, however, does not end our efforts.” If the program becomes unsustainable, the state must be prepared to take action.
“There are costs associated with this expansion. However, over the first 3 years of expansion…we would draw down over $1.3 billion dollars.”
Tomblin said expanding Medicaid “is the best choice for West Virginia.” Receives loud applause from crowd. Authorizes DHHR to expand Medicaid. Will provide insurance to 98,000 West Virginians. If the state chose against expansion, federal dollars would only go to other states, Tomblin said.
Tomblin notes he took office shortly after Congress passed Affordable Care Act. Said he’s been asked many times how the state will act on Medicaid expansion, and has always said the state would do what’s right.
Tomblin calls Rockefeller “a great champion of healthcare.”
Tomblin welcomes guests, including House Speaker Rick Thompson, other delegates and senators, Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
“He’s worked tirelessly for the healthcare providers, for the patients and all that are involved in this vital effort,” Dexter says of Tomblin.
Steve Dexter, Thomas Health System president, welcomes everyone to St. Francis.
I realize hash tags don’t work on this liveblog.
I apologize for all the live video of peoples’ behinds. Photographers keep jumping in front of my webcam. #NewMediaProblems
Gov. Tomblin just arrived. We should begin shortly.
The press conference should begin soon. We’re set up on the lawn in front of St. Francis Hospital in downtown Charleston. Sen. Rockefeller is here, along with hospital employees and representatives. I see Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department, several lawmakers, union representatives. A big event, to say the least.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:26 am and is filed under The Governor's Office, The Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.