January 25, 2011
This publication is your
opportunity to receive regular updates on
the work and the issues that I have been
involved with, both in Harrisburg and
throughout our community.
Please visit my
website, where you will
find a comprehensive overview of our work,
various phone numbers and contact
information to assist you in solving
problems, opportunities to volunteer and
assist us in our programs and opportunities
give your feedback.
adultBasic Not Only Needs to be Saved, but
one month’s time, nearly 42,000 Pennsylvanians
are going to be without health insurance if
Governor Corbett and the legislature do not work
through the funding crisis affecting the
adultBasic health insurance program. If no
action is taken and an effective alternative is
not found quickly, families will have zero
health care options, which is unconscionable.
adultBasic provides health
insurance to individuals who do not have other
healthcare coverage (such as Medicare or
Medicaid), individuals who are earning up to
200% of the poverty level (for example, a family
of four with a household income of $44,100
qualify) and individuals who reside in
Pennsylvania. The program is set to expire on
February 28, 2011.
The real conversation should
be about expanding adultBasic, not saving it.
But here we are.
Two weeks ago, Senator Costa, Senate Democratic
leader, sent a letter to Senate and House
leadership and requested they sit down with
Governor Corbett to find a real, workable
solution. This week, Governor Corbett
asked the federal government to assist with the
funding by expanding PA Fair Care – health
coverage that would take a person’s monthly
premium from $36 to $283 – eight times the cost
of adultBasic. What kind of solution is that for
people who are already struggling to make ends
meet for themselves and their families?
On Monday, I stood with my
colleagues from the House and Senate at a press
conference and called on Gov. Corbett to find a
way to fund the program through June. We need to
bridge the gap for this fiscal year and then
plan for the future in the upcoming 2011-2012
this rally, we heard from 61 year old,
adultBasic enrollee Jerry Kaufman, a
self-employed trash hauler from Erie who said he
grossed less than $20,000 before taxes last
year. Jerry does not know how he will afford the
$50,000 to $100,000 needed to treat his prostate
cancer. Jerry is one story of why we so
desperately need to keep this program going.
There are thousands more like Jerry enrolled in
the program and 450,000 more on the waiting list
to get into the program.
It is clear - we need a more
compassionate, more thoughtful solution than the
ones currently being proposed, and we need one
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes