Pennsylvania took steps to expand health coverage for low-income residents on Thursday. The state approved a plan to use federal funds, under the Affordable Care Act, to purchase private health insurance for half a million people.
Two other states are also using Medicaid funds to buy private coverage for low-income residents, and Indiana has proposed a similar plan to federal officials. "The so-called private option has increasingly appealed to some conservatives as a free-market alternative to traditional Medicaid, a government-run program that critics say has out-of-control costs," writes the New York Times' Abby Goodnough.
Pennsylvania's Republican governor, Tom Corbett, championed the plan approved Thursday but his opponent in this year's race for governor, Tom Wolf, says he'd prefer expanding traditional Medicaid.