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State Senator Vincent Hughes: On the Issues
Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

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 to give your feedback.

adultBasic Not Only Needs to be Saved, but Also Expanded

In 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 budget negotiations.

adultBasic At 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 fast.


Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes