PA's Corbett floats proposals for Medicaid expansion

Pennsylvania is among the two-dozen states that have yet to decide to expand its Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act, but Gov. Tom Corbett is floating proposals for moving forward, Kaiser Health News reported.

Corbett, who governs a blue state with large Republican blocs in the Legislature, has been under pressure to expand Medicaid and wants to find a way to do so, much in the way Gov. John Kasich has recently done in Ohio, or in Arkansas, which recently received federal approval to expand the program with private insurers, according to the article.

"The Legislature may or may not be on board, but the governor recognizes a lot of federal money to be had that will likely save the state a lot of money in the long run," Nicole Huberfeld, a professor of healthcare law at the University of Kentucky, told Kaiser Health News.

Corbett has proposed using federal funds to expand Medicaid to purchase coverage for single adults eligible for coverage through the state's exchange instead.

"Most important, it's not putting 500,000 more people into an entitlement program. It's putting them in a program where they are invested in the program, they are invested in their healthcare, in a way where a person in Medicaid may not have that same personal investment," Corbett told Kaiser Health News.

Twenty-one states have turned down Medicaid expansion completely, likely leaving millions of Americans without insurance options, and putting more financial pressure on hospitals operating in those states. Pennsylvania officials have indicated the earliest the Keystone State would expand the program is 2015.

To learn more:
- read the Kaiser Health News article

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