US approves Corbett’s Medicaid plan

Governor Tom Corbett and the Obama Administration reached a deal Thursday that will allow more Pennsylvanians to get affordable health care insurance.

The plan allows Pennsylvania to accept funding under the Affordable Care Act.

Corbett balked at accepting Obamacare but got the Administration’s approval for – can we call it Corbettcare? Is there a difference?

“Unlike Obamacare, which this is not, the Healthy PA plan allows private health care coverage to be tapped into and to promote personal responsibility, which is a pathway to independence,” Corbett said.

The Healthy PA plan will call for the coverage to be administered by private insurers under Medicaid rules. It will enable 600,000 more low-income residents to get federally-funded health insurance.

An individual would be eligible if they earn $16,000 a year or less. It’s $32,500 for a family of four.

“It means that we’re going to be able to change the health care landscape here in P-A with a plan that is specifically designed for Pennsylvania,” Corbett said.

Organizations and think tanks across the state have weighed in quickly with criticisms, the biggest one being that Corbett should have already accepted a Medicaid expansion.

The group Keystone Progress said “there is no reason to give more money to the insurance companies … thousands will still be left out in the cold … because of unaffordable premiums.”

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network also says serious concerns remain about the affordability of premiums and new bureaucratic hurdles.

Meanwhile, the conservative Commonwealth Foundation says the state should just walk away from Medicaid expansion altogether. It contends that more coverage does not equate to more care.

“That’s one of the biggest problems with the Medicaid expansion altogether,” said James Paul, a senior policy analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation, “is this idea that if we just provide more coverage, we’ll definitely get better outcomes or we’ll get more access to health care and that’s simply not the case.”

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