Corbett looks for decision from U.S. on Medicaid plan, not Pa. lawmakers

    The Corbett administration is trying to put to rest any notion that it needs Pennsylvania lawmakers to approve the governor’s Medicaid overhaul plan.

    Despite some cries to the contrary, the governor’s office insists it’s waiting on word from Washington, not Harrisburg.

    The governor said that’s what he needs to go forward with a plan to change Medicaid and accept federal funding to subsidize private health-care options to low-income Pennsylvanians.

    Whatever talk there is from lawmakers about proposing legislation to require the final word on Medicaid changes isn’t getting much of a reaction, according to Todd Shamash, a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office.

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    “We’re focused on the importance of this plan, making sure everyone understands,” he said Wednesday.

    Some have criticized the governor’s approach of linking federal approval of Medicaid changes to expansion, saying Corbett doesn’t actually need such permission to change a state-managed program.

    But Shamash says a federal say-so is required in part because of rules that were put in place when Pennsylvania accepted federal stimulus dollars after the 2008 recession to shore up Medicaid funding.

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