Healthy PA approval will mean care for many

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Hospitals urge a speedy resolution to any issues preventing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from approving Gov. Tom Corbett’s Healthy PA plan to give low-income, uninsured Pennsylvanians access to affordable health coverage. About 500,000 such Pennsylvanians are waiting for the insurance coverage that will provide them with wellness and preventive health care services that will help improve our state’s overall health and productivity.

Every day hospital and health system emergency departments treat patients who delay getting health care because they lack insurance coverage. Postponing needed care only makes health problems worse and more difficult and expensive to treat.

The Pennsylvania hospital community supports the Healthy PA plan, as expressed in the 1115 waiver awaiting approval by CMS, as an effective way to address the health care and wellness needs of our commonwealth. The waiver calls for the use of federal Medicaid funds, available through the Affordable Care Act, to provide premium assistance so that low-income, non-elderly Pennsylvanians can afford health coverage for themselves and their families.

The waiver also seeks to create a sustainable Medicaid program for future generations by giving Pennsylvanians more choices, encouraging healthy behavior and delivering crucial health care at less cost to the taxpayers.

The hospital community recognizes that the negotiations needed for the Healthy PA plan to move forward require appropriate give and take by both the federal government and the commonwealth. Therefore, we encourage CMS to work with the Corbett administration to break through any stumbling blocks that are preventing swift approval of the waiver.

Surely such an important end result — a half-million more Pennsylvanians who will be able to take better care of their health — will inspire both sides to overcome any bumps in the road.

President and CEO
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

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