W.Va. Lawmakers Ponder A Dismantled Health Agency

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's new secretary of Health and Human Resources wants lawmakers to give her a chance after suggesting they break up her department.

State Sen. Frank Deem told secretary Patsy Hardy at a Wednesday interim meeting that her department has grown unmanageable.

The Wood County republican focused on the office's multibillion-dollar budget.

House members earlier questioned whether her department can effectively carry out its numerous missions.

With 6,000 full-time employees, the cabinet office oversees an array of programs.

Medicaid is the biggest.

Others include flu prevention, behavioral health care and child protection services.

Hardy's had the job three months.

She disagreed that her office's budget is too big for any one person to oversee.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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