Will Pennsylvania join Medicaid expansion supporters?

Pennsylvania may soon become the latest state to agree to the health reform law's Medicaid expansion program. Sources close to Gov. Tom Corbett say he will announce this week, possibly as early as today, that he has approved a plan to expand Medicaid coverage, the Lancaster New Era reported.

Although the details of Corbett's plan haven't been released, he is reportedly considering a private option like the one proposed in Arkansas and Iowa. Those states' plans are under "strong consideration," said Lynn Lawson, Corbett's communications director. That means the state could pay private insurers to administer a Medicaid program, according to the Morning Call.

"Gov. Corbett does not support growing an entitlement program, as he has been very clear about the need for reform," Lawson added. "There are a number of interesting options to consider, and they are currently under review."

Todd Shamash, a deputy chief of staff for Corbett, says the governor has been looking for a "solution to improve healthcare access for Pennsylvanians, as well as reform to Medicaid," the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Corbett would still need to obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, which has continued to affirm its willingness to work cooperatively with state governments. "As we have done with other states, we are eager to work with Pennsylvania to provide the best coverage options that work for Pennsylvanians," said HHS spokesman Fabien Levy, the Morning Call noted. "HHS is committed to supporting state flexibility, within the confines of the law."

To learn more:
- read the Morning Call article
- see the Lancaster New Era article
- check out the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article