Medicaid expansion may yet come to Pa.

    The head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare says her staff is working to find ways to reform the state’s Medicaid program in order to accept an expansion.

    State and federal officials are going back and forth with potential ways to craft a custom-made Medicaid expansion for the commonwealth, according to DPW Secretary Bev Mackereth.

    “We’re getting closer. The one thing we don’t want to do is jump the gun when we’re in those conversations with the feds. And this is not the negotiations piece,” she said. “This is just the, ‘What do you think about this? What do you think about this? This state’s doing this, is this something you would consider?’

    “So we have not presented them with a plan,” Mackereth said.

    Mackereth maintains that if there were any Medicaid expansion, it would likely take until 2015 to roll out.

    Key sticking points include what would happen to children enrolled in the state’s health-care insurance program, as well as certain reforms the governor would like to see, such as proof that Medicaid enrollees are searching for work, she said.

    A Medicaid expansion is being pushed by Democrats in both chambers of the state Legislature, as well as Senate Republicans.

    About a third of the House GOP members, however, oppose it unless the plan comes with reforms.

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