The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 28, 2013

Panel OKs Medicaid increase

Marc Levy
Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Legislation to potentially expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians under the 2010 federal health care law won approval from a Pennsylvania state Senate committee on Friday night, even though support for it is uncertain from Gov. Tom Corbett and the more conservative state House.

The Public Health and Welfare Committee voted 9-2 to send the bill to the full Senate. Two Republicans opposed it, while five Republicans and all four Democrats supported it.

Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, called the bill a compromise between Republicans and Democrats that allows Corbett, a Republican who opposed the federal health care law, to negotiate a fair Medicaid expansion with President Barack Obama’s administration.

“I think it represents a huge step forward for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in terms of getting health care services to at least a half million Pennsylvania residents who are working every day,” Hughes said.

“They’re making a contribution every day. The only thing they’re lacking is health insurance. They make too much money to get into the Medicaid program, but not enough money to purchase their own insurance,” he added.