Lancaster County Republican calls for Medicaid expansion

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 15, 2013 11:21 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A Republican state senator from Lancaster County is breaking with conservatives and fellow Republican, Governor Corbett, to support an expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the  Affordable Care Act.

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Senator Lloyd Smucker is the third Republican member of the Senate to support the expansion. He told a town hall meeting Wednesday that the federal dollars accompanying the expansion would ease the burden on Lancaster General and other hospitals that treat the uninsured.

Two other Republican senators publicly support it: Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman Don White of Indiana County and Majority Policy Committee Chairman Edwin Erickson of Delaware County.

Corbett isn't embracing the expansion and says he's concerned about the cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers. He's said he'll meet with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss details of a possible expansion.

Expanding Medicaid would mean an estimated $4 billion a year in federal money to subsidize health care for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians.

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