Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s “Healthy PA Private Coverage Option,” aka Medicaid expansion, has been given the seal of approval by federal regulators at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Pennsylvania becomes the 28th state including the District of Columbia to expand Medicaid.
Under Obamacare, the expansion in PA will make all adults between the ages of 19 and 64 with incomes through 133% of poverty level eligible for coverage. This includes healthy, able-bodied and childless individuals, as well as those with serious medical needs. Josh Archambault at Forbes reports:
Healthy PA prioritizes able-bodied adults over the truly needy by paying higher reimbursement rates to doctors that treat Healthy PA enrollees through ObamaCare exchange plans. The most vulnerable citizens, on the other hand, remain in a largely broken Medicaid system with lower reimbursement rates, making it even more difficult to access a medical provider as they compete for access with this new expansion population.
Corbett may find out adding the words “private” and “option” won’t make the government entitlement program any more sustainable than the current Medicaid system. Arkansas learned the hard way when it implemented the “Private Option” model. The Medicaid Director and key architect of the state’s expansion program had to abruptly resign in May due to cost overruns, and the Washington Times called Arkansas’s experiment “a national nightmare.”