Regarding the Oct. 20 Forum commentary by state Rep. Frank Dermody ("Expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania Right Now"): It is unfortunate that Rep. Dermody first engages in a series of "trigger phrases" designed to marginalize opponents, fire up his base and exploit the very people served by Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Passion and emotion are not substitutes for reality and good public policy.
The reality is that Pennsylvania spends 34 percent more than the national average per Medicaid enrollee. The reality is that already one in six Pennsylvanians receive Medicaid. The reality is that it is irresponsible to trust the federal government to keep its promise to pay for 100 percent and then 90 percent of the expansion costs. We already know the federal government reneged on its promise to pay 40 percent of special education costs. Its contribution has never been over 17 percent.
We cannot afford another half-billion dollars in Medicaid payments without reducing our commitment to education and other needed services. Just as in our family budgets, we must establish priorities and not be distracted by federal promises that cannot be kept. Gov. Tom Corbett recognizes that good public policy must deliver results, and in this case good policy addresses care, not coverage, and must be fiscally sustainable for all Pennsylvanians.