After rejecting health care reform's Medicaid expansion in February, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) plans to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the expansion question, he announced on Fox News Monday. Though Corbett reiterated that he cannot recommend that Pennsylvania adopt the expansion at this time, he appeared open to the expansion if HHS goes along with specific reforms for Pennsylvania.
"We're going to discuss some of the reforms that we're exploring for Pennsylvania's programs and to see how that will work in, according to HHS, whether they're going to accept what we want to do," Corbett said.
Corbett said high costs were at issue. "We currently spend more in our budget than every other state for Medicaid, except Missouri. Twenty-seven percent for the general fund budget of Pennsylvania goes to Medicaid. Our average enrollee receives $7,400. That's almost $3,000 more than in the other states. So what I need to do is look at a Pennsylvania solution to increase access to quality care, and again not that one size fits all."
"We're making our own analysis of the situation from Pennsylvania, and after I hear from Secretary Sebelius, ask her some more questions, we'll make our own decision, but right now, what I've told the General Assembly is I can't recommend expansion at this time," Corbett added.
In initially turning down the expansion, Corbett had said in a letter to Sebelius that, “At this time, without serious reforms, it would be financially unsustainable for Pennsylvania taxpayers, and I cannot recommend a dramatic Medicaid expansion."
The meeting is scheduled for April 2, according to Politico.