House, Senate Democrats and Wolf administration officials advocate against ill-conceived Republican health care plan

HARRISBURG, March 9 – Calling it a dangerous proposition that hasn’t been properly vetted, state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, was joined today by House and Senate Democrats, as well as officials from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, to call on Pennsylvania’s congressional Republicans to reject the Trumpcare plan that would devastate Pennsylvania by increasing the deficit and most importantly, leaving millions without access to adequate health care.

“This plan put forth by congressional Republicans seems to be a hodgepodge of poorly conceived so-called reforms that will do nothing but reward the extremely wealthy while causing state and federal deficits to explode,” Dean said. “This will not increase coverage. This will not increase access. This will do the exact opposite by raising costs specifically on our most needy citizens and robbing approximately 20 million Americans of the health care they obtained under the Affordable Care Act and through Medicaid expansion.”

In Pennsylvania, 1.2 million children and 248,000 senior citizens are currently receiving health care through Medicaid. The proposed Republican plan would freeze Medicaid enrollment for low-income adults without dependent children beyond 2020 and convert Medicaid to a per-capita allotment. If federal funding is reduced for the Medicaid expansion population, the Department of Human Services estimates the cost to Pennsylvania will be $2 billion, a cost the state cannot afford.

“The Republican Trumpcare proposal is not about Americans who need health insurance, it’s about American health insurance companies that want to make as much profit as they can,” said Rep. Joe Markosek, Allegheny, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “Pennsylvania lives are at stake in this misguided repeal and replace effort.”

“This is simply terrible public policy that has been rushed and cobbled together while putting special interest groups ahead of the health of Pennsylvanians,” said state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware. “At a time when Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis is finally getting the attention it deserves, to suddenly remove treatment and recovery options from struggling Pennsylvanians is unconscionable. This bill would be a nightmare for our entire state.”

“For some reason, congressional Republicans believe the wealthiest of the wealthy in our country deserve tax breaks while our senior citizens get hit with an ‘age tax’ that increases costs based on the age of the plan recipient,” Dean continued. “It’s almost comical how poorly written this bill is, only this is real life and it’s being rammed through Congress without so much as a report from the Congressional Budget Office on how much this bill would cost or how many Americans would lose coverage.”

“The ACA is working for the families in my district,” said state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin. “The real possibility of taking their healthcare plans away would cost us too much in Pennsylvania. It will take away jobs, leave a major hole in our budget and risk the health of working people.”

“Trumpcare doesn’t replace or fix anything about the Affordable Care Act, it’s simply a cruel and dishonest response to those who bought in to campaign rhetoric over the realities of such a complex issue,” said state Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery. “It attacks the ability for Pennsylvanians to get the care they need and deserve. We need a healthcare plan that works for all of us, not just insurance company CEOs and the incredibly wealthy.”