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AFP-PA Calls the Private Medicaid Scheme Embraced by Feds an "Awful Idea"

April 03, 2013

With working families on the hook to fund it, the group urges Gov. Corbett to reject the “Arkansas Medicaid Scheme” as model.

PHILADELPHIA — Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania, the state’s largest free market grassroots organization with more than 120,000 members, is urging Governor Corbett to reject an offer made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow Pennsylvania to expand Medicaid by allowing new enrollees to use federal dollars to buy private insurance.  If the Governor accepts the proposal, the Pennsylvania Medicaid rolls could swell by an additional 800,000 – 1,000,000 new recipients, putting one (1) in four (4) people in the state on the government-run health insurance for low income individuals.

“This is an awful idea based on the Arkansas Medicaid Scheme being embraced by Secretary Sebelius,” said Jennifer Stefano, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania. Stefano is referring to the state where this “private insurance” Medicaid plan originated. Arkansas’ Democratic governor, Mike Beebe, originally floated the idea as a way to get his Republican-controlled General Assembly to agree to Medicaid expansion.

“Governor Beebe and his allies are trying to sell this idea in Arkansas, but it won’t fly in our Commonwealth.  Even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that private insurance is much more expensive than traditional Medicaid coverage—inflating the costs for working families in our state that are already struggling,” said Stefano.

The Arkansas Medicaid Scheme would yield the same results as the traditional expansion plan offered by the Obama Administration.  Under both versions of Medicaid expansion, Pennsylvania would still see federal funding rolled back after three (3) years; 800,000 – 1,000,000 new people would still be added to the Medicaid rolls; and Pennsylvania taxpayers would still be on the to pick up the slack when funding dries up.

Continued Stefano: “It should disturb all Americans that the Obama Administration is doing anything it can to make expansion more palatable to the brave governors, like Corbett, who have so far stood strong against expansion.  Clearly, Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration are learning what groups like AFP-PA has said all along: socialized medicine does not work and the American people do not want it.  I’m urging the Governor to stick with the good sense he’s shown so far and not go for the Arkansas Medicaid Scheme, which is nothing more than lipstick on a bloated, failing pig.”

For more information or an interview, please contact Jennifer Stefano at 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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