Earlier today Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania would be abandoning Healthy PA, the former governor’s inadequate health coverage scheme, and would instead be adopting Medicaid Expansion for uninsured Pennsylvanians.
“Today is the first step toward simplifying a complicated process and ensuring hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians have greater access to the health insurance they need,” Wolf said in the announcement.
Healthy PA, long opposed by consumer health and anti-poverty advocates, was a terrible alternative to Medicaid Expansion through the Affordable Care Act, which is a much better means of expanding health coverage to the nation’s uninsured.
Under Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) states were ordered to find ways to provide free coverage to those who couldn’t afford health insurance in the new federal marketplace. Healthy PA would have provided two different levels of coverage through private insurers to low-income and unemployed non-elderly households who may not have previously qualified for Medicaid. But it also would have charged them premiums that many would have found unaffordable. Healthy PA would have also confined those currently on Medicaid to those same plans, cutting benefits for 1.2 million of them, and would have left hundreds of thousands uninsured.
Corbett set Healthy PA to go into effect on January 1 despite his November electoral defeat and Tom Wolf’s campaign pledges to undo Healthy PA.
Advocates were uncertain as to how quickly Gov. Wolf would be able to move forward on that promise and so are overjoyed that such tremendous and wonderful change has been announced just a few weeks after his taking office.
Everyone who took action on this issue and who voted in November – and even those who didn’t – should be greatly encouraged by today’s news: collective action can bring positive change. When we work together to find real solutions to our community’s problems and when we vote for those who pledge their support for those solutions, we can win.
Contact the Governor and say “thank you”:
You can read more details about the new plan on the state’s website.