Now that Tom Corbett is officially applying for a waiver from the federal government to do his fake Medicaid expansion, we’re going to be having a debate about the merits of “private option” Medicaid over the next few months. The waiver process requires Corbett to hold some public hearings about his CorbettCare plan around the state, but if the feds say ok, he’ll get to do this without passing a bill through the state legislature.
This makes the Democratic candidates’ views about the CorbettCare framework a lot more relevant. CorbettCare could potentially be in place by the time the Democrats take office, so we really need to hear from all the candidates whether they’d keep doing things the Corbett way (using the federal Medicaid money to give people vouchers to buy private insurance) or whether they’d stop doing that upon taking office, and expand traditional Medicaid.
Once implemented, that’d require taking away grift from the health insurance industry and doctors and hospitals, who get paid more from private insurance than they do from Medicaid. Special interests would lobby like crazy to kill it, and that’s why we need to know right now from every Democratic candidate for Governor whether they’re committed to real public Medicaid expansion, regardless of whatever Corbett does between now and January 2015.