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Pennsylvania Legislature Divided Over Medicaid Expansion

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(File photo of the Pennsylvania capitol dome in Harrisburg.  Credit: KYW Newsradio)

(File photo of the Pennsylvania capitol dome in Harrisburg. Credit: KYW Newsradio)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A potential standoff is developing between the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House and the also-Republican-controlled state Senate over Medicaid expansion.

The state senate favors expanding Medicaid, as provided for under the Affordable Care Act, while House Republicans do not.  Compounding the dispute is the fact that the Senate has inserted Medicaid expansion into the state Welfare Code, one of the package of bills to enact the budget for the new fiscal year that began today.

Meanwhile, the House GOP has stood its ground, stripping the Medicaid language inserted by the Senate in a committee vote.

What happens if the bill comes back to the Senate minus the Medicaid language?  Erik Arneson, spokesman for the Senate majority leader, isn’t saying much.

“After the House completes its work on all of the remaining budget-related bills, we will review our options and make a determination on how to best proceed,” he said today.

Governor Tom Corbett has maintained that he cannot support an expansion of Medicaid without reforms and guarantees from the federal government.

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