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Politics & Government

Corbett Administration Says Medicaid Plan Doesn't Need Legislative Approval

The Corbett administration insists it doesn’t need legislative approval to go forward with its overhaul plan for Medicaid, despite some cries to the contrary.

The governor has linked his acceptance of federal funding for private health coverage for low-income residents to a separate plan to change Medicaid benefits and add a work-search requirement.

Todd Shamash, a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, says Corbett doesn’t need legislative say-so to go forward, as long as federal officials approve.

"The Department of Public Welfare, under the welfare statute, has authority to set eligibility and benefits under current law," he said.

Shamash adds such approval is needed to change Medicaid in part because of rules put in place when the state accepted federal stimulus dollars after the 2008 recession to shore up Medicaid funding.
The state Senate GOP supports the plan put forward by the governor, but the caucus also supported an unadulterated expansion.

The state House GOP, which rejected a Medicaid expansion months ago, supports the governor’s reforms, and says final approval rests with the federal government, but is silent on the potential of expanded health coverage subsidized with federal funding.