Last week GOP Gov Chris Christie decided that the Medicaid expansion is “the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health”. Among other GOP governors that are taking the ACA deal are Arizona’s Jan Brewer who says it will help hospitals and care givers not adequately compensated for indigent care and Florida’s Rick Scott, who called it a common sense solution; two governors no one would argue are conservatives.
As part of the ACA (Obamacare) states can opt in to a Medicaid expansion which will cover uninsured people who make up to 133% of the poverty level ($31,800 a year for a family of 4) and be reimbursed by the federal govt 100% of those expenses for the first 3 years. It will also pay 100% of CHIP for children in families that make under the income level, something that is currently funded by the Federal gov’t at about 66%. Mental health coverage whose costs are shouldered by not only the state, but the counties too, would be covered.
Gov Corbett has said that he can not support this because of the costs to the state down the road, but ignores these facts:
- PA can opt out, “down the road” if those expenses get too great
- The savings realized by other health and mental care programs
- The tens of thousands (upwards of 41,000) of health care jobs created
- The increased productivity of a healthier work force (most of the new people covered, work for $10 - $12 per hour)
- It protects rural and safety net hospitals from being pushed towards bankruptcy by the growing costs of the uninsured.
- Preventative care costs way less than critical/emergency care
- The federal tax dollars Pennsylvanians pay that will go to other states.
For more information check out Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
If you agree with Gov Christie that this is the right thing to do for our fiscal and public health, please sign the TAKE THE DEAL petition