Legislation introduced this week would require Pennsylvania to expand Medicaid eligibility to everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"Pennsylvanians' federal tax dollars should be spent here at home, providing insurance coverage for residents of the Commonwealth, not sent to other states that do decide to expand their Medicaid programs," said Rep. Dan Frankel, who sponsored House Bill 2557.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 28 that states could not be penalized for choosing not to expand Medicaid coverage. The PPACA provides full federal funding for the first three years of the expansion, tapering down to 90 percent by 2020.
Several Republican governors have announced that they will not be expanding their Medicaid programs. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has not indicated his plans since the ruling.
"As a citizen, I want to know that my neighbors can all go to the doctor if they need to," said Frankel, who represents Allegheny County and serves as Democratic Caucus Chairman. "As a taxpayer who’ll be paying for Medicaid through my federal tax dollars, I want to know that my money is coming back to benefit my community.”