Corbett might be interested in private Medicaid option

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April 4, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett is suggesting that he's interested in a concept that combines an expansion of Medicaid eligibility for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians by using federal dollars to buy private insurance plans.

Corbett said Wednesday he's seeking information about the idea, a day after meeting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

It was first broached by Arkansas' Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe as a way to get his Republican-controlled Legislature on board with a Medicaid expansion under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

A number of other governors are studying it. But a Congressional Budget Office report suggests that it is more expensive than traditional Medicaid coverage.

Corbett, a Republican, says he isn't supporting the Medicaid expansion without substantial changes because he's worried about the long-term cost.

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