State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Medicaid comments not meant as criticism, Smucker says

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 17, 2013 11:25 PM
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The third Republican state senator to publicly voice his support for expanding Pennsylvania's Medicaid rolls says he isn't trying to criticize the governor.

Lancaster County lawmaker Lloyd Smucker says he's on board with a move to add hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians to the state's Medicaid program, as authorized by the federal Affordable Care Act. He said as much during a town hall meeting in his district last week, making him, as the Associated Press noted, the third GOP member in the state Senate to break with the governor publicly on the issue.

But Sen. Smucker said he doesn't take issue with Gov. Corbett's insistence on getting more information from the federal government about potential costs to the state under a Medicaid expansion.

"I think the governor's approach has been a good one, in so far that there are a lot of questions," said Smucker.

Corbett has said he can't agree to the expansion unless he gets assurances it will come with reforms and more state flexibility to limit costs. Smucker said he himself has additional questions, like whether accepting the expansion would mean the state could be reimbursed by the federal government for certain expenses as a way to better tailor the Medicaid overlay to Pennsylvania's health services.

Senate Democrats are introducing legislation to compel the governor to accept the Medicaid expansion, pointing to the estimated $4 billion in annual federal funding it would bring to the state.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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