DeLissio concerned about process to add work requirement for Medicaid enrollees

PHILADELPHIA, April 20 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said that she voted against H.B. 2138 on Tuesday because of the lack of any meaningful process that brought the bill to a House vote and because it could unnecessarily cause covered citizens to periodically lose their health care.

The legislation passed with a vote of 115-80.

“The able-bodied citizens who the bill refers to are individuals who receive their health care through Medicaid, many of whom are now covered due to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act,” DeLissio said.

“Among my many concerns was the fact that no hearing was held on this bill. The bill requires on a weekly basis 20 hours of work or community service or job training. The bill imposes increasing penalties if infractions occur – infractions that could be beyond the control of the person covered by this type of health insurance.

“Many of my concerns were reflected in my floor remarks made in the House on Tuesday during debate on final passage. By the end of my interrogation of the prime sponsor, I had more questions than answers.

“A hearing would have hopefully included the many stakeholder agencies that help to enroll citizens and offer care and other services. A hearing also could have provided the administration and citizens affected with an opportunity to discuss the potential mechanics and impact of this legislation. For example, under this bill, enrollees would be required to file paperwork twice a year in order to prove that they are in compliance. I can easily envision someone being removed from their health care simply over a paperwork snafu.”

DeLissio will discuss H.B. 2138 with constituents at her 72nd Town Hall at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, in the Cathedral Auditorium at Cathedral Village, located at 600 E. Cathedral Road.