January 6th, 2014

Secretary Beverly Mackereth
Department of Public Welfare
P.O. BOX 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Dear Secretary Mackereth,

We were pleased to hear that nearly 300 people had signed up to participate in the Department of Public Welfare’s two hearings on “Healthy PA” that were scheduled for Friday, January 3rd, 2014 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. However, we are concerned that a major snow storm that hit the region prevented all those who wanted to take part from being able to participate.

It is our understanding that many of the people who were scheduled to testify at the hearing were not able to attend. This is not entirely surprising, especially since many local government agencies—including the public school system and courts—were shut down because of the weather.

The hearing on January 3rd was the only formal opportunity for Philadelphia and the surrounding region to weigh-in on “Healthy PA.” This proposal has major ramifications for both the 500,000 uninsured individuals that could get coverage and also people who are currently enrolled in our Medicaid system.

Given the conditions of inclement weather, we would like to suggest that the Department of Public Welfare organize another public hearing on “Healthy PA” which would be held in Philadelphia in the very near future.  Given the size of the population which would be impacted by the “Healthy PA” proposal which reside in this area and given the world class medical providers which make their home in Philadelphia and the surrounding Southeastern PA counties, it seems only appropriate that this community be given another chance to voice its thoughts about this potentially far-reaching proposal.

Please let us know if there is any assistance that we can provide in helping to successfully schedule a new hearing for the Philadelphia community.