Gov. Tom Corbett’s Healthy Pennsylvania plan takes center stage this week as the first in a series of statewide public hearings convenes here Friday. It’s an important moment. With Healthy PA, the governor has found an innovative way to provide health insurance coverage to lower-income residents without raising taxes and without expanding the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program, which is already underfunded and overburdened.
That’s critical for Pennsylvania’s growing senior population and their providers of care. One in five Pennsylvanians is age 60 or older; by 2020 it will rise to one in four.
Two-thirds of the frail, elderly men and women in Pennsylvania’s skilled nursing centers are on the Medicaid program. Medicaid reimburses these facilities $26 a day less than the true cost of care for each resident. That means for every Medicaid resident, skilled nursing centers are underpaid $9,500 a year. As a result, access to care is becoming a growing problem as centers sometimes have to turn away residents because they can’t afford to care for them.
Healthy PA expands health care to the uninsured while protecting those already on Medicaid. It is the right choice for Pennsylvania.
Regional Director of Operations