CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Supporters of the federal health care overhaul say expanding Medicaid in West Virginia will create both jobs and economic activity.
Figures presented at a Tuesday state Capitol press conference suggest a $664 million boost to the economy and 6,200 added jobs in 2016.
The advocacy group Families USA hired Regional Economic Model Inc. to develop the estimates. It presented its findings with West Virginians For Affordable Health Care.
The gains would come from providing health care through Medicaid for at least 100,000 additional state residents.
The federal law calls on states to open up their programs. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is awaiting an accounting analysis before deciding whether West Virginia's should expand.
Medicaid is already a $3.1 billion program in the state, putting increasing pressure on the budget.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)