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Health: Next Step Taken To Overhaul and Expand Pennsylvania Medicaid

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stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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CBS Philly (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSPhilly.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSPhilly.com/Health

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled details of his Medicaid reform plan today. He will submit a waiver in January to cover the uninsured, and the public comment period is now open.

Critics call Governor Corbett’s plan irresponsible saying it’s unfair to poor people, and loaded with red tape. The Governor it encourages personal responsibility.

People wanting Medicaid coverage in Pennsylvania would be required to register with Job Gateway, and do at least 12 employment searches a month, according to just released details of the Healthy Pennsylvania plan.

Instead of accepting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, Governor Corbett has an alternative.  If approved, Pennsylvania would be the first state to require able bodied adults to participate in job search or training programs in order to qualify for Medicaid.

“We want to get them jobs. We want to make sure they’re not just sitting back waiting and taking the entitlements,” said Governor Corbett in October when he was in Philadelphia.

He wants to create a new system for poor people who rely on the government for health care, and expand coverage to include half a million people who won’t qualify for Medicaid or be able to afford private insurance.

The proposal would use federal funds to cover costs through the private insurance exchange system created by the Affordable Care Act.  People would pay a modest premium as low as 13 dollars a month. And there would be incentives to get even lower rates, like working or meeting certain health goals and getting a yearly physical.

Pregnant women and the disabled are among those exempted from the fee.

“We think it’s fair to all the tax payers in the United States to do it this way, not just our tax payers,” said Corbett.

Governor Corbett told Eyewitness News he’s in active discussions with the Obama administration, and is hopeful they’ll approve his plan.  Federal health officials have said they want to be flexible, while ensuring that everyone who needs coverage gets it

There is no time frame for its implementation.

The Governor’s office opened the public comment period today, which includes a public hearing in Philadelphia on January 3rd at the National Constitution Center.

Healthy Pennsylvania Information- http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/healthypa/index.htm

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