Gov. Corbett to Outline Medicaid Expansion, Work-Search Requirements

Tom Corbett has a plan to provide insurance for 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians as part of his proposed Medicaid changes—all you’ve got to do is get a job.

In an announcement today, Corbett will discuss his Medicaid plans, including a scheme to provide insurance for the poor uninsured by using public money for commercial insurance policies. This is the latest in a series of steps Corbett has taken to expand the state’s Medicaid coverage, all without increasing the role of Medicaid itself. The solution, naturally, is private providers.

The state, however, won’t support applicants here unless they pass a work-search requirement, which forces those applying to look for work before they can receive healthcare. That health care, by the way, bases co-pay on income and caps them at $25 a month. Pennsylvania is the only state in the country to follow that framework.

Low-income resident advocates have since taken issue with Corbett’s projected plan:

“What’s bad about it is that under the guise of reaching out to cover people with health insurance, they are going to take benefits away from an awful lot of people,” said Richard Weishaupt, senior attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. “Welfare provides a mom and a kid $316 a month, and they get Medicaid. How in the world are they going to come up with $25 for health insurance?”

Presumably from the $316 monthly welfare check, which that hypothetical mother can only then receive if she’s looking for work already. Choosing between being healthy and eating is nothing new for the lower class. Right, Tom? [Philly.com]

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