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AFP-PA Applauds House Lawmakers for Bold Stand on Medicaid Expansion

July 03, 2013

“Never easy” to vote against such programs, said state director Stefano, but PA families “finally got a win.”

HARRISBURG — Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania, the state’s largest grassroots free market organization with 120,000 members, is applauding the politically courageous Pennsylvania lawmakers who battled both special interests and their own party to stop the expansion of the President’s healthcare take-over into Pennsylvania.

“When the Senate concurred today with the House’s version of the Welfare Code Bill, which did not include an expansion of Medicaid, the working families of Pennsylvania finally got a win,” said Jennifer Stefano, Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania’s State Director. “Medicaid expansion has been wrong for Pennsylvania from the start: a one-size-fits-all, federally mandated program that wastes tax dollars and provides little or no health benefit for its recipients. The revenue proponents claim it would have brought to the states, if it ever materialized, would have come at the expense of the poor who need and deserve better care than Medicaid offers.”

The defeat of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion plan came after nearly six month of ceaseless advocacy efforts by Americans for Prosperity activists.  AFP-PA organized activists to run phone calls into legislators’ offices and hold meetings with their representatives back in the district.

This is not the first time Americans for Prosperity took the lead on fighting Obamacare in Pennsylvania and won.  The first victory came last December when Americans for Prosperity activists successfully lobbied Governor Corbett to reject setting up a state based Obamacare exchange.   In October of 2012, Americans For Prosperity-Pennsylvania brought more than 500 activists for a rally in Harrisburg on the issue.
Activists then made thousands of calls into the Governor’s office from October through December advocating for their position until the Governor publically adopted AFP-PA’s position on the exchange issue and rejected it outright. The grassroots advocacy group then launched their offense against Medicaid at a press conference in January in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall.

“It is never easy to make a stand against a program that, on the surface, seems like one that could help the poor and needy,”  said Stefano.  “But as we have argued and independent studies have born out, Medicaid does not help the poor; neither those who already rely on it  nor those who would be forced on it through expansion.  The lawmakers who stood strong against pressure from the well-funded hospital lobby, the unions and their own party deserve our praise and gratitude today.

Stefano continued:  “Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania stands in solidarity with those who directly voted against Medicaid expansion despite the political fallout.  AFP-PA is especially grateful to the 33 Republican House Members who publically signed their name to a letter stating they would vote no on the budget if it contained any Medicaid expansion. It was a ‘profiles in courage’ moment for those 33 lawmakers and we are grateful to them for their political courage in standing up to do the right thing and winning for the working families of our state.”

For further information or an interview, please contact Jennifer Stefano at JStefano@afphq.org, PAMedia@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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