Harrisburg – June 30th, 2013 – Senator Vincent Hughes thanked the Pennsylvania Senate today for passing legislation that will implement Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. The legislation, which is included in House Bill 1075, is a major legislative step towards expanding health insurance for more than 500,000 people across the state. The vote passed 40 to 10 with bipartisan support.
“Today’s vote was a major step forward for providing health insurance to 500,000 working adults,” said Sen. Hughes. “I am grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted for this legislation. We sent a clear message tonight that Pennsylvania should not be left out of Medicaid expansion. The Governor and State House should follow suit and support expanding health insurance as quickly as possible.
Pennsylvania is eligible for $4 billion annually in federal funds to provide insurance to low-income working individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Multiple independent studies have found that expansion will have a positive impact on the state budget, including $154 million net savings in the next fiscal year. It will also create between 35,000 and 40,000 jobs in the health-care industry by increasing the number of people who can pay for care.
“Expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania will have so many positive benefits that it should be a slam dunk for our process,” said Sen. Hughes. “It will provide health-care to hundreds of thousands of people. It will also generate budget savings that can be directed to other important priorities, like education or job creation. And it will create tens of thousands of jobs in the health-care industry. We cannot afford to pass on this opportunity.”
The language for expanding Medicaid was included in the welfare code bill, which also contains several provisions key to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final passage and, if approved, sent to Governor Corbett for his signature.