HARRISBURG – July 3rd, 2013 – Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement today on the Senate Republicans voting against putting Medicaid expansion language back in House Bill 1075:

“I’m deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans voted against putting Medicaid expansion language back in House Bill 1075. The language was stripped from the bill by House Republicans after it was approved by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 40-10 in the Senate. The collective will of the Senate is clearly being ignored.

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Expanding Medicaid would provide health insurance to 500,000 low-income working adults in Pennsylvania. These are the people who clean our buildings, serve our food, care for our seniors, and work other low wage jobs. They deserve to have access to high-quality health-care without breaking the bank. The vote this afternoon by the Senate Republicans showed an unacceptable callousness to the plight of the uninsured.

“It’s also fiscally irresponsible. The Independent Fiscal Office found that the Commonwealth would realize $154 million in budget savings by accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid. It makes no sense that Senate Republicans would not take the necessary action to avoid leaving that money on the table. We should not walk away from this opportunity.

I cannot understand why my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle voted overwhelmingly for Medicaid expansion just a few days ago but today failed to back up that vote with action. We should have amended the bill and sent it back to the House with Medicaid language included. I will keep fighting and hope that we can implement Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial district and is Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.