Economy exposes sick health care system

The Scranton Times-Tribune makes the link between economic revitalization and health system reform in its December 30 editorial.  "Economic problems have revealed that the (health care) system - or the convoluted patchwork that passes for a system - is in critical condition."

Health system reform a necessary part of economic restructuring

Writing in the December 30 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael Vitez describes a few of the millions who await President-elect Obama's action on health system reform.

Free treatment for women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer

Pennsylvania women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer are eligible for free medical treatment under the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Healthy Woman Program.

To be eligible, women must meet the following criteria:  (a) be uninsured or without credible insurance; (b) be under age 65; (c) have annual household income less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line ($24,500 for a single-person household and just under $50,000 for a four-person household); and (d) receive screening, diagnostic, or consultative services from the Healthy Woman Program. 

Using Medicaid to meet health needs during the recession

When the 111th Congress begins work in January, its first order of business will be passage of a stimulus package to help the economy get moving again. 

During economic downturns, the Medicaid program (called Medical Assistance in Pennsylvania) is one of the tools Congress can use to stimulate the economy while also helping average people hang on until better times return. 

More Pennsylvanians qualify for Medical Assistance

More Pennsylvanians - nearly 35,000 more - will qualify for free medical services this year through the Medical Asssistance Program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. 

The increase in enrollment is driven by the state's aging population and by growing unemployment. And it is creating severe budgetary problems for the state.  The current budget, adopted before the current economic crisis, called for spending $5.3 billion this year.  Now, with state revenue far below expectations, expenses related to Medical Assistance are rising.