By Pat Loeb
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Wolf administration is pushing ahead with its plan to streamline Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania.
The effort begins in April. Ted Dallas, the state’s acting human services secretary, says the first phase in the new transition timeline affects those who signed up in December for “Healthy PA,” the controversial Medicaid alternative devised by former governor Tom Corbett that took effect one month before he left office.
Dallas says that group will be moved to the standard adult benefits package beginning April 27th, a process that should take about a month, then the state will move those who signed up later.
“Part of the reason we’re doing this in phases is to minimize any gaps in coverage,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “We want this to be an orderly and efficient transition.”
Health care reform opponents such as Americans for Prosperity criticize the move, saying Medicaid doesn’t provide quality care. But Anotinett Krauss, of the pro-reform Pennsylvania Health Access Network, says it’s a huge improvement over Healthy PA.
“It simplifies the process, makes it easier,” she says.
About 600,000 Pennsylvanians are eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage, which will bring billions of federal dollars in health care spending to the state.