What approval of Healthy PA means for the state’s sick, elderly, and poor

Gov. Corbett announces that he will seek federal Medicaid, Sep. 2013

AP Photo/Marc Levy

 

Recently the federal government approved Governor Corbett’s Healthy PA plan as an alternative to Medicaid expansion via the Affordable Care Act.

The revised plan still includes severe Medicaid benefit cuts.

As originally proposed, the Healthy PA plan was even worse. Public outcry and action by federal policymakers led the Governor to withdraw punitive work search rules and harsher cuts to existing health services.

But make no mistake: Healthy PA is not a recipe for health. Although 500,000 Pennsylvanians will gain health coverage, Corbett’s plan slashes benefits for another 1.2 million Pennsylvanians. There will also be drastic limits on medical supplies and equipment, such as products used by diabetics, hospital beds, wheel chairs, canes, and walkers.

Individuals living just above the poverty line will be charged premiums they can’t  afford, leaving roughly 125,000 Pennsylvanians without health insurance.

Medicaid expansion is a better solution (and may also be an important issue in the race for Governor).  With it would come more comprehensive coverage for all Pennsylvanians and $4.8 million per day in federal funding that could be adding jobs, boosting the economy, and raising wages.

Now that sounds like a plan.


This post appeared as a letter to the editor in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on September 7, 2014.

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