The head of Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare is sounding an optimistic note about a possible Medicaid expansion in the state.

Acting department secretary Bev Mackereth said she's following up with federal officials about the topic of adding hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to the government-run health insurance program.
Federal officials have been forthcoming with information to the best of their ability, she said.

"The federal government has given us lots answers and lots of information," Mackereth said Monday. "The problem is the information is not specific to Pennsylvania. It's very general and every state is different."

One factor complicating the decision is Pennsylvania's now-defunct adultBasic insurance program, which may keep the state from receiving 100 percent compensation from the federal government for the Medicaid expansion.

Mackereth says she expects that matter to be addressed in a meeting with federal officials set for Tuesday.

Gov. Tom Corbett met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week to discuss Medicaid expansion.