With President Obama re-elected and Congress unlikely to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania officials now face a major decision: will they expand the state’s Medicaid programs as the law originally intended?
The original health care reform law made that expansion mandatory, but earlier this year, the Supreme Court left the expansion decision to individual states. While some governors have already declared their intention to expand their Medicaid programs and others have announced that they will not, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has not yet announced a decision.
Why would the state choose to expand its Medicaid program, considering that it will end up costing taxpayers more money? On the other hand, why would it choose to leave billions of federal dollars on the table?
Because they serve so many low-income, uninsured patients who might benefit from an easing of Medicaid eligibility criteria, Pennsylvania’s private safety-net hospitals have a major stake in this decision.
Read more about the decision now facing the Corbett administration in this CQ HealthBeat article presented by the Commonwealth Fund. For a closer look at the Pennsylvania perspective, read this PA Independent article.