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Governor Corbett Announces Intent to Squander Opportunity to Bring Jobs, Growth and Coverage to Pennsylvania Families

February 5, 2013

PHAN Issues Statement on Medicaid Expansion and Governor Corbett’s Budget

Harrisburg, Pa (February 5, 2013) –  Today Governor Corbett did not appropriate federal funds in his proposed budget that have already been allotted to Pennsylvania to offer health care coverage to approximately 700,000 working families.

Pennsylvania has the opportunity to accept new federal funding to extend health insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians and reduce the state’s uninsured population by more than half. This opportunity would enable Pennsylvania to cover working adults making up to $15,415 for an individual or a family of four making $31,809.

Antoinette Kraus, Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network made the follwoing statement in resposne to Governor Corbett not moving forward with Medicaid expansion at this time:

“Governor Corbett has the chance to bring coverage and health care security for hundreds of thousands of working Moms and Dads, all while stimulating our local economy, creating local jobs and saving Pennsylvania taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars currently spent each year to treat the uninsured emergency rooms. This is an opportunity the Commonwealth cannot afford to pass up. We urge our legislators  make sure Pennsylvania doesn’t leave these new funds, the jobs they would create and the secure coverage they would provide, on the table.”

Pennsylvania will be able to bring in $43.3 billion in new Medicaid funds over the next ten years — money that will be injected directly into Pennsylvania’s economy and used to create jobs, relieve the burden on local hospitals and build our health care workforce.

Dr. Cheryl Bettigole of the National Physician’s Alliance, has practiced family Medicaid in Pennsylvania for the past 13 years and knows the stakes are high for her patients.

“If Pennsylvania fails to accept the opportunity to expand Medicaid, thousands of working people in this state will remain unable to access health insurance and the care they need. As a physician, I not only think it is critical that my patients get care when they are sick but also care that will help them prevent illness,” she said.  “By strengthening Medicaid, we are making a smart investment: allowing approximately half a million Pennsylvanians to access preventative care, regular checkups, follow-up visits after serious illness, and prescription drugs. Data also show that Medicaid enrollees visit emergency rooms less often than those without health insurance and are more likely to report being in good health than those without coverage.”

Across the country, 19 Governors, both Democratic and Republican, have already notified Health and Human Services they will be accepting the funds. Just yesterday, Governor Kasich (R) announced his support to move forward with the expansion opportunity in Ohio.