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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett Declines Medicaid Expansion

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Newscom / Christopher Weddle

"Washington needs to stop treating Medicaid as a one-size-fits-all mandate and start granting states true flexibility to successfully reform and build a system that works for them," Corbett said. "I want to be clear, I firmly believe we can serve more of our citizens in Pennsylvania, but only if we are given the independence and flexibility to do so. ... As Governor, I will continue to work toward policies that will provide Pennsylvanians greater access to quality care and coverage."

Democratic governors are participating in the expansion. About a dozen Republican governors have turned it down -- all in red states. Five GOP-governed states -- Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, Nevada and, most recently, Ohio -- have accepted it. Others remain undecided.

The Medicaid expansion is a financially enticing offer for states: the federal government would pay the full cost for the first few years and 90 percent after 2020. Conservative opponents fret that the federal government won't come through with the funds. Top Democrats in Pennsylvania are already demanding that Corbett reverse course.

"Governor Corbett chose to pander to the far right and willfully inflict damage on Pennsylvania's economy - he has undermined any promises he makes about jobs," said State Rep. Dan Frankel, the chair of the Democratic Caucus. "The federally funded Medicaid expansion would be a win-win for Pennsylvania. ... Governor Corbett should reverse his job-killing decision."

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

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