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.