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.The Medicaid expansion would have provided coverage to 542,000 additional people in the state over the next decade, according to analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That would have cost the state $2.8 billion over a decade, with the federal government kicking in $37.8 billion to the state. More than 1.3 million Pennsylvanians are uninsured, nearly 13 percent of the state's non-elderly population.
“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.
Between Corbett's voter suppression and vote rigging schemes and his hard-right, destructive course on Obamacare, this blue state Republican might be making 2014 a bit of a challenge for himself. Here's something for Pennsylvania Democrats to consider: this decision is not irrevocable. States can decide to participate in the expansion at any point, though after 2016 the federal government won't pick up 100 percent of the tab.