By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania is on hold for the summer as the state Senate backed away from its standoff with the House on the issue.
The Senate inserted Medicaid expansion language into the state Welfare Code, part of the package of bills to enact the budget.
Then The House removed it and, on Wednesday, the Senate decided to pass the House version and send it to the governor, who also opposes Medicaid expansion for now.
“Someone used the word ‘dare the House’ or ‘dare the governor’ – that is not, I think, an appropriate thing for us to do at this point in time,” said Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, Senate majority leader.
But Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia, ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, wanted to stand firm.
“It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth fighting for. These folks who live in our communities have to have somebody to stand up for them,” Hughes said.
The majority leader, meanwhile, also called for advancing the Welfare Code bill now without Medicaid language because it also seeks federal money for hospitals.