Pennsylvania won’t make Medicaid available to more of its poor residents, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) told state legislators during his budget address Tuesday.
By rejecting the Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, Corbett becomes the 11th Republican governor to turn down federal funding to provide health benefits to low-income residents. Pennsylvania now joins Idaho, Maine and a swath of states from Georgia to Texas in refusing to add more people to Medicaid, which is jointly managed and financed by the federal and state governments.
The health care reform law seeks to enroll as many as 17 million people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,282 this year, to Medicaid — but the goal is being undercut by Pennsylvania and other states that refuse to participate. The Supreme Court ruling that upheld Obama’s health care reform law last year also enabled states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, which the Congressional Office says will result in about 3 million people losing out on health benefits over the next decade.