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Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

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.

HughesMr. President: Don't Buy Governor Corbett's Health-care Plan

Hello,

Last week, I sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for him to reject Governor Tom Corbett's "Healthy PA" plan and endorse traditional Medicaid expansion for Pennsylvania. I published the letter as an op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News, which is below.

Please read the op-ed and share it with your friends, family, and neighbors.

Sincerely,
Senator Vincent Hughes

Dear President Obama:

Medicaid Expansion Floor Remarks :: June 24, 2013
Medicaid Expansion Floor Remarks :: June 24, 2013

Gov. Tom Corbett recently provided long-awaited details on his so-called Healthy PA plan to extend health insurance to low-income working adults. He is seeking a federal waiver to implement his proposal. It's good news that Gov. Corbett wants to expand coverage. Unfortunately, his plan falls drastically short of what could be done in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Corbett claims that he wants more "flexibility" than provided by traditional Medicaid. Pennsylvania's Medicaid program is already run by the private sector and has a long history of success providing quality health coverage and saving billions in taxpayer dollars.

Gov. Corbett's model, crafted with similarities to the Arkansas plan, forces Pennsylvania recipients to purchase their insurance through the national health-care exchange (Healthcare.gov), even though he made the decision to not establish a state-run exchange, as other states have done for their residents. The federal exchange, despite dramatic improvements, remains a far more cumbersome process than simple Medicaid expansion. This threatens to leave very vulnerable people with no insurance coverage at all.

The biggest issue is timing. The governor's own waiver acknowledges that his proposal is unlikely to expand coverage for eligible individuals until Jan. 1 at the earliest. Under his plan, there will be at least 500,000 people who will be left without health insurance this year. They would have been covered under Medicaid, but most of these individuals will not qualify for any subsidies to purchase coverage until a new plan is put in place. This is unacceptable and could easily be avoided by simply expanding traditional Medicaid. It's especially troubling because these individuals are working adults who don't make enough money to afford insurance. They are playing by the rules, but are being left behind by Gov. Corbett.

According to the state's Independent Fiscal Office, expanding Medicaid would generate about $400 million in state budget savings during the next fiscal year. State budget experts say Pennsylvania may be facing a deficit of as much as $1.4 billion. We cannot afford to ignore any opportunity of this magnitude to reduce that deficit. It's unclear if Corbett's alternative plan would save any money, let alone $400 million, in the next fiscal year. It is clear that expanding Medicaid is the financially responsible choice for Pennsylvania.

Many in your administration have been cool to numerous provisions in the governor's proposal, especially a work-search requirement for subsidy recipients. This is something that is unlikely to be approved, but Gov. Corbett included it in his waiver anyway. Some have suggested this indicates that the Corbett administration is trying to get federal officials to reject their plan so that they can place the blame on Washington.

The facts clearly show that expanding Medicaid is superior to Gov. Corbett's alternative proposal. For the sake of the people of Pennsylvania, I am asking that you reject the proposal that the governor has offered.

Sincerely,

State Sen. Vincent Hughes
7th Pa. Senatorial District

Hughes Calls for Rejection of Corbett's Insurance Plan

By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: January 09, 2014

HARRISBURG - State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.) wants the Obama administration to reject Gov. Corbett's proposal to provide health insurance to those newly eligible for Medicaid through private insurers.

In a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, Hughes writes that had Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid rolls, as two dozen other states have, roughly 500,000 people would have had insurance coverage Jan. 1, and the state would have received $400 million in federal subsidies to pay for it.

» Continue Reading

PA Government Panel Links Medicaid Expansion to Gun Violence Prevention

By Randy LoBasso , Philadelphia Weekly
Posted: January 08, 2014

HARRISBURG - State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.) wants the Obama administration to reject Gov. Corbett's proposal to provide health insurance to those newly eligible for Medicaid through private insurers.

In a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, Hughes writes that had Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid rolls, as two dozen other states have, roughly 500,000 people would have had insurance coverage Jan. 1, and the state would have received $400 million in federal subsidies to pay for it.

» Continue Reading

Corbett's "Snow Joke" of a Health Care Hearing

By Randy LoBasso, Philly.com
Posted: January 6, 2014

OK, so neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays the Post Office and its workers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Everybody knows that. But did you know that a big snowstorm also doesn't stay the Corbett administration from moving ahead, when all else around is gloomy, with political hearings that might not be a lovefest for the governor's policies?

» Continue Reading

 



Learn more about the issues and provide your feedback on my website at senatorhughes.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

www.senatorhughes.com

  DISTRICT OFFICE
4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778
HARRISBURG OFFICE
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579