A western Pennsylvania lawmaker has spoken out strongly against his own party’s Governor’s plan to utilize available federal Medicaid dollars to help the working poor.
Republican state Representative Daryl Metcalfe, from Butler County, says the use of government tax dollars to buy insurance, and forcing taxpayers to pay for other people’s health care amount to “expanding welfare.” Metcalfe said he was embarrassed by Governor Tom Corbett’s Monday announcement. He added that Corbett’s plan will help the Democrats gain victory in the next state elections because it opens the door for so-called “Obamacare.”
Without calling the plan a Medicaid expansion, Corbett proposed using plan money to buy private insurance on the new “health care exchanges” for about 500-thousand low-income Pennsylvania residents. Corbett said his plan includes an option for purchasing private health plans for newly-eligible Pennsylvanians. An administration official said the Medicaid reform proposal includes replacing copayments with monthly premiums.
Many of the specifics will be worked out during negotiations with the federal Department of Health and Human Services which must sign off on the plan.