By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A new report from an independent agency created by the state legislature, and a warning from the state welfare secretary, add to the debate over whether Pennsylvania should opt for Medicaid expansion under the new federal health care law.

The Independent Fiscal Office analysis of Medicaid expansion adds to other previous studies that project significant benefits for Pennsylvania. But Governor Corbett has said all along that he’s concerned about whether long-term assumptions are accurate.

And the IFO’s report was issued on the same day the state welfare secretary issued a warning about a potential federal policy change regarding the state’s gross receipts tax on managed care organizations.

Administration spokeswoman Christine Cronkright says that’s just the kind of thing the governor is worried about.

“Until we know more around specifically the gross receipts tax we continue to have concerns that some of those estimates may not be entirely correct.”

The welfare secretary says a change in the gross receipts tax policy could cut Medicaid funding by $1.5-billion over seven years.

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