The people the expansion would help, Hughes said, are serving hot dogs at an IronPigs or Phillies games, stocking shelves, making popcorn at the movies, working in retail and tending to the sick, Hughes said.

"They are busting their ass on a daily basis," Hughes said.

To try to force Corbett to act, Hughes and other Democrats in the Senate plan to push for a vote in the Senate on June 23, six days before the June 30 budget deadline.

Republicans are not in lock step with Corbett on the issue either.

On Wednesday, Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, chairman of the Human Services Committee, filed a bill seeking to expand Medicaid. The next day, DiGirolamo's committee held a hearing in which representatives from the state hospital association, human services organizations and others, touted the benefits of Medicaid expansion.

"I'm getting a lot of criticism for being in favor of this," DiGirolamo said during the hearing. "This is not an easy issue for members of my caucus to get their heads around. I understand the governor's concerns, but in my mind we can find a way to make this fit [for Pennsylvania]."

Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford, a member of DiGirolamo's committee, said he does not believe the state or federal government can afford to expand Medicaid. But, he said, he just wants Corbett to make a decision so the Legislature can move on with its work.

Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, said he does not know what will happen to DiGirolamo's bill.

"Until the governor makes a decision, there's really no sense getting into it," Miskin said.

While the Corbett administration has been fighting calls for expansion, it also has been fighting an uphill battle on the policy level.

Three independent organizations — the RAND Corp., the Pennsylvania Economy League and the Legislature's Independent Fiscal Office — came out with studies over the past few months showing an economic benefit to expansion by creating between 35,000 and 44,000 new jobs, many of them in the health industry, and taxable income.

RAND, for instance, said Pennsylvania would forgo $16.5 billion in federal money to cover the extra costs between 2014-2020 without expansion.

The studies predict the state's Medicaid expenses will rise, starting in 2014, regardless of whether Corbett opts to expand coverage. The higher expenses are due to normal inflationary costs and because more people who now qualify but have not signed up for Medicaid will do so when the federal government kicks off a massive television, radio, billboard and Internet campaign about Obamacare in coming weeks.

Those new enrollees would raise the state's share of Medicaid costs by $50 million in 2014 and $120 million by 2020, according to RAND. The RAND and fiscal office reports claim those state expenses would largely evaporate if Corbett and the Legislature opt to expand Medicaid.

The Corbett administration last month attacked the fiscal office's findings, saying it did not consider possible tax changes by the federal government on some Medicaid plans, which would reduce the state's potential income from Medicaid.

The tax fears are a legitimate concern for the administration, said George Hoover, health policy director of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Partnership for Children. However, he said, he believes the state would still have a net financial benefit based on the number of new jobs, economic activity and federal payment match of between 90 percent-100 percent for new enrollees.

The state, so far, has looked at costs but not revenues.

Estimating revenues is a job for the state Revenue Department, but spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell said she does not know why the department has not done a revenue calculation.

"DPW is sort of running point on this issue," she said.

It's not Public Welfare's job to run revenue projections, Mackereth said, only costs.