PA-Gov: HHS Accepts Corbett’s Medicaid Plan
The Department of Health and Human Services announced today their acceptance of Governor Corbett’s HealthyPA plan.
To put it succinctly, the ACA allowed for an expansion of Medicaid to families making 133% of the poverty line. The Supreme Court decision upholding the law, though, allowed for states to choose to opt-out of the expansion. As a result, many red states refused the money.
Gov. Corbett proposed his own HealthyPA plan, which would involve accepting the funds from the government but only allowing them to be spent on private insurance plans and not Medicaid. Similar proposals by Arkansas and Iowa have received federal approval.
There are still nonetheless several logistical barriers to implementation.
For one, Tom Wolf is likely to oppose any effort to adopt this private plan and will pledge to adopt the federal Medicaid expansion if he should be elected.
This development may scare off insurance companies, who would be hesitant to build up infrastructure for a plan that may not see the light of day. It’s possible that these companies will take a wait and see approach and allow the election to take place before making any major moves.
The Pennsylvania Health Action Network (PHAN) applauded the decision but called for a full Medicaid expansion.
“Today’s agreement begins to dig Pennsylvania out of the hole Governor Corbett and lawmakers created when they rejected funding to expand health care coverage to half-a-million low-income Pennsylvanians,” said PHAN Director Antoinette Kraus. “There never should have been a coverage gap in Pennsylvania, and we share the relief of hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians in knowing it’s finally on track to close.”
Therefore, well this is a major development it very well may not be the last one.
Update: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf released the following statement:
“It is unfortunate that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians lost a year of health care coverage, but I am gratified that they and their families will now have added health and economic security.”
“After standing in the way of Medicaid expansion for years, Tom Corbett has finally been forced by political reality to accept a Medicaid proposal.”
“Tom Corbett’s unconscionable delay has cost Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars while making it more difficult for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians to get the health care they needed.”
“Tom Corbett should have expanded Medicaid on day one instead of wasting two years. Tom Corbett’s repeated mismanagement is completely unacceptable, and it underscores the importance of giving Pennsylvania a fresh start.”