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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) announced Tuesday that his state will turn down the Medicaid expansion, becoming the first governor of a blue state to officially say no to the coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court made optional.
“At this time, without serious reforms, it would be financially unsustainable for Pennsylvania taxpayers, and I cannot recommend a dramatic Medicaid expansion,” Corbett wrote in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The decision will please conservative advocates who are urging leaders to stonewall Obamacare implementation. But it’s a blow to the many thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians who would have received coverage through the program, which extends Medicaid eligibility to Americans up to 133 percent of the poverty line for participating states.
James Carville once described Pennsylvania as Philadelphia on end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle. Clearly Corbett is adopting a stance more suited for the governor of Alabama than the governor of a state like Pennsylvania.
Shame on him.
PS. Chris Christie has yet to weigh in on the issue. Will this give him cover to turn it down for New Jersey also?