DPW secretary says PA Medicaid expansion not likely in 2014

Written by The Associated Press | May 13, 2013 9:36 AM

Photo by The Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(Harrisburg) -- A member of Governor Corbett's cabinet says expanding Medicaid eligibility in Pennsylvania under a sweeping federal health care law probably wouldn't take effect until January 2015, even if the governor embraces the idea.

Beverly Mackereth, secretary of the Department of Public Welfare has told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the administration would need time to negotiate with the federal government and create the program.

The federal law promises 100 percent funding to expand Medicaid eligibility beginning Jan. 1, 2014, a year before Mackereth says Pennsylvania would be ready. Democratic lawmakers say they'll keep pushing Corbett to expand Medicaid next year.

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle in the Senate are noting the time is fast approaching to make a final decision about a potential expansion of Medicaid.

Corbett is opposing a Medicaid expansion out of concern over the cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers. Still, Mackereth says Corbett aides are drafting several models of a program to expand Medicaid eligibility.

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