Corbett unswayed on Medicaid expansion after Sebelius meeting

Call Washington Bureau

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's face-to-face meeting Tuesday evening with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did not convince the governor to accept the federal government's Medicaid expansion offer.

Corbett, in a statement released Wednesday morning, said he asked Sebelius for assurance that 100 percent federal funding is available. He also asked her about expanding the coverage using the federal money to buy private insurance plans.

Corbett has said his greatest concern is the long-term cost to the state.

“Until we know whether or not significant reform is possible, I continue to have concerns that Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program will be able to serve, in a sustainable manner, the approximately one in four Pennsylvanians that would be covered under a full expansion,” Corbett said.

He called it a "meaningful discussion" but said he would not make any decision yet on adding hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians to the Medicaid rolls.

The meeting, held in Washington, started around 6 p.m. Tuesday. A little before 10 p.m. an HHS official issued a statement describing it as "a good conversation."

"She reiterated that the federal government will pay 100 percent of the expansion cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter," Sebelius' office said. "She stressed that the Administration wants to be as flexible as possible within the confines of the law and said she hopes constructive dialogue can continue on innovative ideas that work for Pennsylvania."



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