Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett indicated in his state budget speech Tuesday that he is unlikely to expand health insurance for the poor.

"At this time, without serious reforms, it would be financially unsustainable for the taxpayers," Corbett said. "And I cannot recommend a dramatic Medicaid expansion."

Corbett said he wrote to the federal secretary of health Tuesday advising her of his position.

His message: that Pennsylvania cannot afford to "expand a broken system" without clear guidance about what it would cost taxpayers, and more flexibility in administering the program.

The expansion of Medicaid is an optional provision of the 2010 federal health law.

The federal government would cover the entire cost of new eligibles for the first three years of expansion. Federal contributions would start decreasing toward 90 percent after that.