New effort to expand Medicaid takes step in House


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HARRISBURG — A divided Pennsylvania state House committee is advancing a bill to immediately expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of the working poor.

Approval of the bill on June 4 by the Republican-controlled Human Services Committee may end up being symbolic, given the opposition of Gov. Tom Corbett and many House Republicans.

The committee passed the bill, 12-11, after committee Chairman Eugene DiGirolamo and two other Republicans sided with all nine Democrats.

DiGirolamo says he believes the bill has a chance to get to the governor's desk, given the prospect that billions of federal health care dollars could provide relief to the state's budget pressures.

The Senate voted 40-10 last June for a Medicaid expansion, but the House rejected it amid a veto threat by Corbett.

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