Weather or not, big crowd anticipated for Philly hearing on Corbett Medicaid plan

    Pennsylvania’s third hearing about Gov. Tom Corbett’s Medicaid proposal is on for Friday despite inclement weather reports, according to Department of Public Welfare Secretary Bev Mackereth.

    And if pre-registration is any indicator, the Constitution Center space where it’s slated to take place is likely to be packed. State officials created an extra three-hour afternoon session to accommodate the interest.

    The morning session is closed to new registrants. More than 80 people have signed up to testify across the two sessions, filling all available slots, with time capped at three minutes per person.

    The state has four more sessions after Philadelphia’s. January 6 in Scranton, January 7 in Altoona, a webinar on January 8 and finally in Harrisburg on January 9.

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    Gov. Corbett submitted a draft of his proposal in early December, but he has been touting the concepts for months. The plan could affect upwards of half a million uninsured Pennsylvanians, according to state estimates.

    Instead of expanding Medicaid and drawing down federal funding to do so, the Corbett administration is proposing an alternative, essentially using those federal expansion funds to help subsidize people buying private coverage.

    Moving forward, the administration will resubmit its waiver to the federal government after reviewing public comments, at which point the plan will undergo another one month federal public comment period, accompanied by additional negotiations.

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