In the Dark

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is pondering a decision with enormous ramifications-whether to add about 150,000 people to the state’s Medicaid rolls-and West Virginia taxpayers have a right to know something about how he will make the choice.

A Maryland consultant is being paid about $860,000 to study how the expansion would affect the state in the long run. As the work proceeds, state officials have made some changes in what they want to know from the consultant.

But the “work plan” is being kept secret.

Information sensitive to private entities is contained in the “internal planning document,” according to a state official.

If so, a few sections of the work plan can be redacted. But keeping West Virginians in the dark entirely on what is being studied is not acceptable.

The vast majority of the work plan should be made public.