The Supreme Court ruled last year regarding the Affordable Care Act that the federal government cannot force states to expand their Medicaid programs. As a result, the decision has been left to each individual state. Pennsylvania has not decided whether it will expand Medicaid. Advocates across the state supporting Medicaid expansion have been clear and consistent with their messaging to the Legislature and governor's office that expanding the Medical Assistance program is the right thing to do for Pennsylvanians.
One group of diligent advocates in Western Pennsylvania deserves a special shoutout. The Health Committee for People With Disabilities, a committee of the Consumer Health Coalition, has worked tirelessly, consistently and cheerfully to persuade their own and others' legislators to expand Medicaid. They made phone calls and more phone calls and more after that. They visited their legislators in their local offices. They boarded an early morning bus for Harrisburg undeterred by the panicky weather forecast for "severe thunderstorms" and "possible derecho" to rally on the Capitol steps and then meet with their legislators face to face before another four-hour bus trip home.
So why a special shoutout to this group? Because every one of them already has health insurance. Their fierce advocacy for Medicaid expansion is for others in their community, some they know and most they don't. That's a group I can get behind. We truly are a city of champions!