Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Later Medicaid, More Staff

Better late and more.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett famously turned down the Medicaid expansion, unlike all of our neighboring states, including those also helmed by Republicans. The commonwelath lost an estimated $2.2 billion dollars in aid this year that we already paid  through federal taxes that would have helped half a million Pennsylvanians. Instead, your tax dollars are helping Americans be healthier elsewhere.

The Corbett administration devised its own plan, scheduled to launch next year. However, as The Inquirer's Don Sapatkin reports, it will require far more people to administer the program, an estimated 723 additional state employees, while other states hired none.

The estimated staff is second only to mammoth California among an Inquirer survey of 16 states that accepted the Affordable Care Act. Neighboring New Jersey, which adopted the expansion, hired 38 permanent employees and 62 temps.

So, to recap, we've lost a year, paid to help people in the 27 states that accepted the expansion, but will eventually get Healthy PA, which requires substantial new staffing. The Corbett administration believes the program will be more cost effective. I suppose the governor can also claim that his program will be a job creator.

--Karen Heller