Gov. Corbett is now predicting that the federal government will accept his “Healthy PA” plan by the start of 2015. He could have just expanded health care to 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians at the beginning of 2014, and the federal government would have picked up the entire tab. Instead he refused to do so unless the federal government would let him cut benefits to existing Medicaid enrollees.
This is our friendly reminder to the federal government that this plan is illegal and should not be approved. Governor Corbett is continuing to waste precious time for low-income individuals who need health care.
Governor Corbett’s spokesperson claims that “We share the same goal to increase coverage and that can’t happen till the waiver’s approved.” This is untrue, as Gov. Corbett well knows. Pennsylvania could accept full, unrestricted federal funding tomorrow. This would not only cover the uninsured but also inject billions of dollars into Pennsylvania’s economy. A RAND study found that “An increase of $2.5 billion in annual federal spending due to the Medicaid expansion is estimated to lead to $3 billion in the state’s GDP growth and sustain more than 35,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.” Rejecting this windfall isn’t just mean-spirited; it also kills jobs and devastates the state’s revenues.