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Schwartz Issues Statement on Corbett’s Health Care Decision

Pennsylvania will not be setting up its own healthcare exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The responsibility for the exchange now falls back to the federal government.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said in a Dec. 12 press release that he “decided not to pursue a state-based health insurance exchange at this time.” He continued, “However, we will continue to seek guidance from HHS on the costs, impacts and flexibility involved in the different options for Medicaid expansion.”

See the entire press release here, and read his letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the pdf section of this post.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-13, responded with the following statement:

Governor Corbett's decision not to accept the authority to develop and operate a state ‘exchange’ marketplace of private health coverage for individuals and small businesses is a failure of leadership and vision. It is a lost opportunity for the Commonwealth to demonstrate leadership and innovation in affordability and accessibility in the insurance marketplace. And, it fails to build on Pennsylvania’s strong history as a pioneer in the development and successful implementation of private-public partnerships in health insurance coverage for children and adults.  

Pennsylvania's Children’s Health Insurance Program was one of the first state initiatives in the nation that was used five years later as a model for the federal efforts that now offer affordable coverage for 11 million children in the country. As a State Senator who fought hard for the creation of CHIP and more recently as a Member of Congress who fought for expansion of coverage at the federal level, I have seen the positive outcomes for millions of children and their working parents. AdultBasic, started with dollars from the settlement with the tobacco industry, was also a public-private initiative that successfully offered coverage to thousands of lower income middle class adults in Pennsylvania. Governor Corbett ended this program using the funds to cover budget shortfalls, leaving many in Pennsylvania uninsured. 

The federal government will now take the responsibility to establish an exchange for Pennsylvania so that our residents will have access to affordable, meaningful coverage. The Governor's decision has denied Pennsylvania the chance to lead in coverage and affordability and to design a model that works best for the state and our particular insurance and delivery preferences.  

Health coverage and cost are major issues for Pennsylvania families and businesses. While there are unanswered questions, as there are with all new ventures, the Governor's decision demonstrates the low priority he has given to the serious challenge of affordable, accessible health coverage for our citizens.

 

 

Jim Foley December 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
After all that talk about the government being incapable of running health care, he turns around and puts his trust in the federal government !! What ???
Wendy Lessig December 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I TOTALY AGREE. OUR STATE GOVERNMENT HAVE WIMPED OUT. WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP? AND WHERE IS CORBITT TO EXPLAIN HIS DECISION? OUR VOTE IS MEANINGLESS AND SO IS OUR REPRESENTATION TO OUR STATE. SCHOOLS ARE BEING DISMANTLED AND SO IS THE HEALTH CARE. Wendy JL

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