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Corbett and Medicaid expansion: Will he or won't he?

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Recent reports on whether Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is going to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid under Obamacare agree on one thing: He's going to say something soon, likely next week.

Beyond that, though, they differ.

Thursday, the Intelligencer Journal, citing unnamed "sources close to the governor," reported that Corbett "intends to announce he will accept federal funds to expand medical coverage to an estimated 682,000 more Pennsylvanians in a Medicaid-like program." The story said one source indicated that the proposal would look much different than the plan put forth by the Obama administration, setting up a health insurance system that would offer coverage from private companies instead of expanding Medicaid.

The same day, the Pittsburgh Tribute-Review said Corbett's aides are denying reports that Corbett has agreed to expand Medicaid, but instead that he is reviewing options for Medicaid reform.

The story quoted Corbett's communications director, Lynn Lawson, as saying Corbett "does not support growing an entitlement program, as he has been very clear about the need for reform. There are a number of interesting options to consider, and they are currently under review."

Corbett spokeswoman Lynn Lawson told the Business Journal at noon today that Medicaid coverage will be part of what Corbett plans to talk about  next week, but that some of the reports have been inaccurate.

“He is not expanding Medicaid,” Lawson said. “Rather, he will be detailing a plan he has to ensure quality, accessible health care for Pennsylvanians.”

She said Corbett has consistently spoken about the need for reform and called the current Medicaid program unsustainable to taxpayers.

“He has some ideas and plans to address that,” Lawson said.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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