Senator Says Accepting Federal Medicaid
Expansion Deal is Still Best Course
30, 2013- Don Rooney
response to Gov. Corbett's release of some of the details he's providing to the
federal government to win their approval for his "Healthy PA"
initiative, Senator Hughes issued a statement on the need for Pennsylvania to
simply expand Medicaid. Under the
Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania can expand Medicaid to cover the currently
uninsured working poor and the federal government will pay 100 percent of the
cost for the first few years, dropping to 90 percent after that. Senator
Tom Corbett has begun to offer more details about his proposal to expand
health-care coverage for low-income individuals using provisions of the
Affordable Care Act. Frankly, I believe that he is headed down the wrong path.
The best option for Pennsylvania is to expand traditional Medicaid and provide
coverage for more than 500,000 working adults.
biggest concern is the length of time it will take to implement Gov. Corbettís
proposal. We could have been ready to provide coverage on January 1st if the state
had simply expanded our current Medicaid system. Now, we have no clear timeline
for how long it will take the federal government to approve a waiver or the
convoluted process that Gov. Corbett is proposing. Expanding Medicaid is much
more straightforward and the fastest way to expand quality health insurance for
working people who deserve coverage.
also concerned that Gov. Corbettís plan will not provide the budget savings
that our state desperately needs. Expanding Medicaid would generate at least
$400 million in savings for the FY2014-15 budget. Those savings could be used
to fund education, job creation, and other critical needs. Itís unclear if Gov.
Corbettís proposal will be able to be implemented before the next fiscal year.
Thatís the only way to ensure savings for taxpayers. Again, expanding
traditional Medicaid would guarantee significant savings in the first year.
Expansion is the simplest, easiest, quickest, most thorough and comprehensive
way to go. It would be approved by the Federal government immediately, coverage
would begin immediately, and multiple independent studies have indicated that
it would save $400 million in the next budget, which given our budget crisis,
is necessary. Letís do this now."