Advocates for affordable health care in Pennsylvania are watching to see what final plan will take shape as Governor Tom Corbett and federal officials discuss Corbett’s proposal for Medicaid reform and expanded health coverage.
On Monday, the Governor rolled out a plan he is calling “Healthy Pennsylvania” that he says goes beyond expanding coverage for hundreds of thousands of the working poor. Corbett said his plan calls for reforming current Medicaid coverage and using expansion dollars to buy private insurance on the new “health care exchanges” for about 500-thousand low-income Pennsylvania residents.
The Corbett administration says the Medicaid reform proposal includes replacing copayments with monthly premiums. The Governor said it includes an option for purchasing private health plans for newly-eligible Pennsylvanians.
Advocate Antoinette Kraus, of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, told Radio PA News that expanding coverage for some, while reducing it for others, is not a responsible plan. Kraus does say Corbett’s announcement was a good first step, and added her agency will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure Pennsylvania takes full advantage of the cost savings and benefits under Medicaid expansion.