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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Another Republican Governor Decides to Expand Medicaid, It’s Time for Gov. Corbett to Follow Suit
Following the announcement that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will participate in Medicaid expansion, I joined with Senate Democratic Public Health and Welfare Chair Shirley Kitchen today to send a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett urging him to also participate in expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania.
On the heels of the February 20 announcement by Florida Governor Rick Scott, Gov. Christie’s announcement makes him the eighth Republican governor to opt into Medicaid expansion. The Virginia legislature also voted to participate in Medicaid expansion.
Due to these recent developments, we really believe it is time for Pennsylvania to participate in Medicaid expansion. There is really no good reason why poor working men and women should be denied access to lifesaving health care here in the commonwealth. We are urging Governor Corbett to opt into Medicaid expansion and do the right thing for more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians.
As Another Governor Decides to Expand Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act, Governor Corbett Continues to Stall
More Than 500,000 Uninsured Pennsylvanians Continue to Suffer
On February 20, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican and staunch critic of President Barack Obama’s health care law, announced that he will expand Florida’s Medicaid program. This was a complete about face for the governor who was a strong opponent of ObamaCare.
This announcement marks the 7th Republican governor to participate in the expansion of Medicaid. Half of all states have decided to or are leaning towards Medicaid expansion.
Status of State Medicaid Expansion for 2014
Status of the ACA Medicaid Expansion after Supreme Court Ruling - Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Unfortunately for the more than 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians hoping for some relief, Gov. Tom Corbett remains opposed to expanding at this time, citing the need to do further analysis on costs and rules associated with Medicaid expansion.
Corbett continues to assert that Pennsylvania taxpayers will incur substantial costs related to expanding Medicaid, but what isn’t told is that these costs that he speaks of will occur regardless of Medicaid expansion based on the insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act. These costs are NOT related to Medicaid expansion and should not be used as a reason for Pennsylvania not to participate.
The facts are:
- For the first three years, Medicaid expansion is completely covered by the federal government at NO cost to Pennsylvania
- More than 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians would get coverage
- Pennsylvania would see savings and growth related to Medicaid expansion to the tune of an estimated $670 million
- Pennsylvania would receive $4 billion a year in federal funds
DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Comes to Philadelphia to Talk ObamaCare and Medicaid Expansion
On February 20, U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Philadelphia to discuss ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion and the effects it will have on Pennsylvania’s health care delivery and uninsured.
Sec. Sebelius is dedicated to seeing Medicaid expansion come to Pennsylvania. I was pleased to meet with her to discuss ways to ensure that Pennsylvania does not miss the opportunity to implement Medicaid expansion. Also joining in the discussion was Congressman Chaka Fattah, who is also deeply committed to Medicaid expansion. I will continue to work with the secretary, Congressman Fattah and my colleagues in the legislature to advance this unprecedented opportunity to expand coverage and dramatically improve Pennsylvania’s health care delivery system.
Later that evening, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church hosted Sec. Sebelius for a conversation about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and what it means for the Philadelphia community. I also took part in this informational discussion on the need for a 21st century health care system that addresses the needs of all Pennsylvanians.
Secretary Sebelius took questions and talked about the challenges of enrolling more than a million uninsured people in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley and discussed ways for all of us to help our neighbors get proper health coverage.
Learn more on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion and provide your feedback on my website at senatorhughes.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes