Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Corbett Medicaid Plan Puts Pennsylvanians at Breaking Point Over Cuts and Delays

With the federal public comment period ending this week on the Corbett Administration's Healthy PA proposal, Pennsylvanians delivered a loud and clear message to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Corbett Medicaid Plan Puts Pennsylvanians at Breaking Point Over Cuts and Delays

With the federal public comment period ending this week on the Corbett Administration's Healthy PA proposal, Pennsylvanians delivered a loud and clear message to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Healthy PA is overly complex, overly complicated and unnecessary.  The best choice for Pennsylvania taxpayers and uninsured workers is to join all of our surrounding states by expanding Medicaid immediately.

The response has been overwhelming. People across the state have been sending emails, mail and comments with online tools to explain their opposition to Healthy Pa. Many of them are citing the proposed benefit cuts, eliminating medical assistance for people with disabilities, unaffordable premiums and delays in coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured workers.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 600 people had submitted responses through the CMS comment tool. According to an analysis by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. 83 percent of those responses opposed Healthy PA.

The anonymous comments include:

Commenter # 520: “I work as hard as I can and take care of myself the best I can and MAWD has allowed me to do that. Please don't let them take it away.”

Commenter #211: “Pennsylvania's plan will discriminate against people with disabilities in a number of ways. The largest impact will be stopping people from receiving quality medical equipment, especially decent manual wheelchair's that will not damage the users’ shoulders, arms and back.”

The overwhelming response is clear. Pennsylvania should have expanded Medicaid on Jan. 1, and it remains the best choice for the taxpayers and uninsured workers in this state. The continued delay is causing Pennsylvania to miss the opportunity to generate $522 million in state budget savings and starting to create 35,000 good paying jobs. Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has already indicated it will accept these funds to expand its Medicaid program. Adding to the support, a new poll released this week by Public Policy Polling found a majority of Pennsylvanians, 59%, want Gov. Corbett to accept federal funding to expand healthcare through Medicaid.

Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
About this blog

The Field Clinic reports and analyzes health care laws, government policies, and political trends that are transforming the care we receive and the way we pay for it. Read more about our panel of bloggers here.

This blog is produced in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health-policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Portions of this blog may also be found on Inquirer.com and in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

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Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor, School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health
Jeffrey Brenner, MD Founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Medical Director of the Urban Health Institute at Cooper University Healthcare
Andy Carter President & CEO, The Hospital & Healthsystem Assoc. of Pa.
Robert B. Doherty Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy American College of Physicians
David Grande, MD, MPA Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tine Hansen-Turton Chief Strategy Officer of Public Health Management Corporation
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH Director of Health Policy Program at the Jefferson School of Population Health
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Laval Miller-Wilson Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project
David B. Nash, MD, MBA Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School
Howard J. Peterson, MHA Managing Partner of TRG Healthcare, a national healthcare consulting firm
Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH Deputy Mayor for Health & Opportunity and Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia
Paula L. Stillman, MD, MBA Healthcare consultant with special expertise in population health and disease management
Elizabeth A. W. Williams Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer for Independence Blue Cross
Krystyna Dereszowska A third-year law student concentrating in health at Drexel
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