Excerpt from: Charleston Daily Mail (click for full article)
Tomblin's decision to open Medicaid to more low-income West Virginians was reached neither quickly nor easily, administration officials say.
The path to last week's announcement began in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health care law. The ruling struck down language that threatened existing federal Medicaid funding for states that didn't expand their programs as called for by the sweeping overhaul.
"When we found out we had a choice, we started studying it," Tomblin Chief of Staff Rob Alsop said Friday.
The governor at first sought wiggle room. He quizzed U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in July about whether West Virginia could expand Medicaid more gradually or only partly and still count on the hefty federal funding promised by the health care law. After a September follow-up inquiry by the governor, Sebelius shot down that option for West Virginia and other states in December.