PA Republicans follow Washington's lead on Medicaid
Republicans in the General Assembly are using the budget process to attack Medicaid patients in Pennsylvania.
While Gov. Wolf, Democrats and others in the state are scrambling to find a way to protect patients should the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act by Trump and Republicans in Washington succeed, Republicans in Pennsylvania are joining in that attack on tens of thousands of our residents.
Republicans want to put families through more red tape to keep the health coverage that allows them to continue working and supporting their families.
Administering the requirements proposed by Republicans will chew up already scarce state dollars we should be using for healthcare services.
Increasing the cost burden for Medicaid patients will cause many of them to lose coverage because they can't afford it. That means higher rates of uninsured, more frequent chronic healthcare problems and more costly emergency room care that is expensive for hospitals and taxpayers.
Higher premiums will punish many workers who work full time but don't make much money. It forces their families to choose between getting the health care they need, paying the rent or buying groceries.
Requiring Medicaid patients to "lock-in" their plans adds another layer of bureaucracy and administrative costs that's a waste of money -- only 1% of patients switched their plans within the last year.
Republicans have ignored proposals to save significant amounts of state money by re-evaluating the hundreds of millions of dollars Pennsylvania gives away every year to rich corporations in the form of tax credits, loopholes and subsidies.
Republicans are unwilling to require these companies to justify the huge giveaways they receive, why are they so quick to demand justification for the healthcare coverage and services that many individuals and families need?
Republicans' mantra of "personal responsibility" is simply an ingrained disdain for those on the middle and lower rungs of the ladder. If it weren't, they'd be a lot more interested in everyone demonstrating responsibility -- and paying their fair share -- not just those who cannot afford to prop them up in Harrisburg in return for more special favors.