Healthcare Access

What we do

The Law Center uses the law to eliminate systemic barriers to medical and dental care so that marginalized populations can access the prompt, high-quality care they need to thrive. To do so, we use high-impact legal strategies, including advocacy, convening activities, technical legal assistance, partnerships, and lawsuits to encourage and ultimately compel governmental officials to provide coverage with appropriate reimbursement for and access to care as mandated by federal law – through such means as increasing payment rates, expanding eligibility, improving outreach efforts and overcoming state barriers to eligibility and service.

As a result of our work, the Law Center has developed a nationally-recognized expertise in healthcare access law and policy. Our programming builds on this expertise to dismantle systemic barriers and make a meaningful impact. Here is what we are currently working on:

Advocating for Full Medicaid Expansion

The Affordable Care Act requires states to provide health care under Medicaid to all adults with incomes of 138% or less of the federal poverty level. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court left it to each state to decide whether or not to cover these adults under Medicaid. In August of 2014 Pennsylvania and the federal government finally agreed upon an alternate plan known as “Healthy PA” to expand Medicaid. While we are pleased that Medicaid expansion is on its way to Pennsylvania’s working families starting January 1, 2015, we continue to advocate for full and equitable access to health insurance as the plan still falls short of providing full expansion, and imposes restrictions, including hefty premiums for some low-income families. READ MORE

Right to Know PA Medicaid Payment Rates

In Pennsylvania, most low-income children get no dental care at all. The Pew Center on the States rated access to dental care in Pennsylvania an “F” in 2010 and a “D” in 2011, and the federal government has expressed concern about the low percentage of Medicaid children in Pennsylvania who see a dentist in the course of a year. Still, the state refuses to share vital information needed to assess the state’s Medicaid program with the public. READ MORE

Improving Access to Medicaid in Florida

Nearly two million children living in poverty in Florida face serious obstacles getting basic medical and dental care, even though federal Medicaid law requires states to provide prompt and effective treatment services. For more than a decade, we have litigated to increase access to services for these kids. READ MORE

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