News

Democratic lawmakers try to force PA Medicaid expansion vote

Written by The Associated Press | May 14, 2013 1:51 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- Democratic state lawmakers are trying to force the Republican-controlled Senate to vote on a bill that would compel Governor Corbett to expand Medicaid eligibility under the 2010 federal health care law.

A discharge petition has been filed in the Senate by Democrat Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia.

The petition is designed to prevent the Public Health and Welfare Committee from bottling up the bill and force a Senate floor vote. But it can be stopped if majority Republicans don't agree to a vote, and a spokesman says Senate Republicans don't have a position yet on the petition or on a Medicaid expansion.

Corbett administration officials say any expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania probably wouldn't take effect before January 2015, even if the Republican governor embraces the idea.

Expanding Medicaid under the 2010 law would provide taxpayer-paid health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. But Corbett's opposing a Medicaid expansion out of concern over the cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers.

*This story was updated with comments from Senate GOP spokesman  -- 5/14/13  4:57 p.m.

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