Despite an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in April, Pennsylvania still hasn't decided to accept $3.8 billion a year from the federal government to expand Medicaid. The money, promised for each of the next three years, would not only increase health care and services to nearly 650,000 low-income people, but would also provide much-needed jobs.
Gov. Corbett has written that the expansion would be "fiscally unsustainable without significant reforms to the program itself." He wants "the federal government to provide flexibility and independence in crafting our state's programs."
Under the program there would be 100 percent federal funding for Medicaid expansion until the end of 2016. What's "fiscally unsustainable" about that? No "significant reforms" will change that fact. No "flexibility or independence" is needed.
After 2016, Pennsylvania could decide whether to continue care for this expanded population. If so, then the most it would pay would be 10 percent of the costs. The federal government would pick up the other 90 percent.