Corbett Not Yet Ready to Ask For Larded-Up Private Alternative to Medicaid Expansion

But he’s warming up to it:

Gov. Tom Corbett said he still has questions after meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The two discussed the possibility of expanding Medicaid in Pa. under the Affordable Care Act [...]

The two met in Washington, DC Tuesday evening, after which federal officials pledged 100% funding for the hypothetical program’s first three years and at least 90% after that.

Corbett said he’d like more details about Arkansas and Tennessee, states which have utilized private insurers to expand coverage.

Keegan says Bruce Castor is also interested in the “private option” alternative to the Medicaid expansion.

The Republicans are eager to prove my point that the Medicaid expansion debate isn’t about costs. The Arkansas private option is more expensive than Medicaid and covers fewer people. There is no reason to prefer this to the Medicaid expansion aside from a dogmatic adherence to the idea that “private” always means “better and cheaper.”

In the health insurance market, nothing could be further from the truth. Medicaid and private insurance provide roughly equal access to health care, despite the fact that Medicaid is much cheaper. The biggest difference is that Medicaid doesn’t cover dental care, but it can if we include it in PA’s Essential Health Benefits package.

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