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AFP-PA Applauds Gov. Corbett's Decision Not to Expand Broken Medicaid

February 05, 2013

State Director says Medicaid hurts the very people it is intended to help.

Washington Crossing, PA — Jennifer Stefano, State Director of Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania, applauds Governor Corbett’s decision not to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Last summer’s Supreme Court ruling regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), Obamacare, made expansion of the program optional. Stefano and members of the Philadelphia medical community urged Gov. Corbett to take this action at a press conference last week.

The half-century-old Medicaid program fails patients, doctors and taxpayers. Stefano said, “I applaud the Governor’s decision to join the list of states choosing not to expand the Medicaid program. I call on our state legislators to do the same. Those enrolled in Medicaid have worse health outcomes than patients that have no health insurance at all.”

According to last month’s New England Journal of Medicine, less than half of the states have committed to expanding their program to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as originally mandated by the ACA.

Stefano noted that “one-third of Pennsylvania’s doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients, because of the program’s convoluted, multilayered regulations and low compensation rates. In order to make healthcare available to the most vulnerable in our society, the states must be given the freedom to craft programs that address the needs of their people in the most effective ways.”

“Rep. Stan Saylor introduced HB 269, which precludes Pennsylvania from participating in ACA’s Medicaid expansion.” Stefano said, “I urge all members of the Assembly to vote for the passage of HB 269 blocking Obamacare’s Medicaid provision in our state, and for Governor Corbett to sign it into law.”

Additional Background:

Stefano and members of Philadelphia’s healthcare community spoke at a rally in Philadelphia last Thursday urging the Governor and our state legislators not to expand the Medicaid program.  See Stefano’s remarks here. And other members of the Medical community: Part 2 and Part 3.

Nearly 20 percent of Pennsylvania’s citizens (2.4 million people) are enrolled in Medicaid at a cost of $8.2 billion in 2012. This figure represents approximately one-third of the state’s annual budget. If Pennsylvania expanded the program, it would add between 800,000 to 1 million to Medicaid’s rolls in the state by 2022 at a cost of $2.8 billion according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

For interviews, please contact Jennifer Stefano at infoPA@afphq.org.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans.  For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

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