Corbett Asks Obama Admin to Approve Non-Obamacare Plan

Plus: Two big problems with Corbettcare.

Tom Corbett, in a final effort to push his alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, will now ask the Obama administration to formally approve it. It would function similarly to the current Medicaid expansion–which 25 states, including all of PA’s neighbors have agreed to–which offers Medicaid to all those living within 133% of the poverty line. Except for a couple thorny factors.

One, under Corbettcare, recipients would have to pay small-ish monthly premiums ($6-$12 per month) to enroll. Two, Corbett wants to use federal dollars to create a private insurance marketplace, rather than going through Medicaid itself. Three, the recipients would have to be engaged in a search for work to qualify. Here’s where the problems arise.

First, Corbett’s trying to use federal dollars to create a work-search requirement, something that’s probably illegal. Second, private coverage is more expensive (and more lucrative to health care providers) than Medicaid, raising the question of how Corbett plans on paying for it. Indeed, considering the federal government was planning on picking up more almost the entire tab for the simple Medicaid expansion, one has to wonder if that would have just been cheaper in the long run than engaging with this hybrid plan. While the Obama admin has approved a similar plan in Arkansas, that state didn’t try to mandate work-search requirements.

Update: Here’s Corbett’s official application, which includes a detailed description of his proposal.


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  • NateFried

    So what about people who already have jobs but don’t make 100% of the poverty line? Do they have to “actively” search for a better job to get medicaid? And who is going to manage the mandatory job search? How many salaries are going to have to be paid to keep this going? Sounds like the standard ploy of getting more money into the pockets of private companies.

  • Rumplestilskin

    Corbett is without a doubt the worst governor that PA has had in the 25 years I have lived in the state. He is a shameless shill for corporate profits and blatantly anti-democratic (small d) in supporting efforts to disenfranchise as many poor and minority Pennsylvanians from their votes. His policies are particularly bad for the poor and senior citizens of which PA has many..