The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 14, 2013

Democrats try to force Pennsylvania Medicaid expansion vote

The Associated Press

— HARRISBURG — Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania are trying to force the Republican-controlled Senate to vote on a bill that would compel Gov. Tom Corbett to expand Medicaid eligibility under the 2010 federal health care law.

A discharge petition was filed Tuesday 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.

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.