Governor Corbett introduced Healthy Pennsylvania in September and is requesting 23-federal waivers for his plan. Healthy PA proposes to alter the current Medicaid program and adjust the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion provision that the Supreme Court made optional for states. However, if enacted as designed under the ACA, Medicaid Expansion would offer for the first time, health insurance for ALL low-income Pennsylvanians under age 65 and below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Currently many low-income adults do not qualify for Medicaid. The federal government would cover the cost for the first three years and cover 90% after 2020.
The Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition is pleased that Governor Corbett has changed his previous position and is looking into the possibility of expanding Medicaid for Pennsylvanians. With 400,000 Pennsylvanians having fallen into the Pennsylvania health insurance gap between traditional Medicaid and the new insurance marketplace on January 1, it is important that reasonable solutions be found quickly and the state takes advantage of the federal dollars being offered starting this year.
The U.S. health insurance system is already one of the most complex in the world. It did not get simplified under the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, the Governor’s Healthy Pennsylvania proposal adds additional complexity and punitive measures for our low-income, marginalized and most vulnerable residents.
While the Governor’s proposal looks for ways to cover low-income Pennsylvanians up to 138% FPL and includes incentives for healthy behaviors, the BCWAC has several specific concerns about the Healthy PA plan and request for waivers. Those concerns are explained in the testimony we recently sent to the Governor during public comment period. A complete transcript of the testimony can be found on our website: BCWAC Testimony on Health PA Proposal
We agree with Senate Majority Leader, Dominic Pileggi (R) who said, “It would be foolish to leave people uninsured” in 2014 and our tax dollars going to other states.