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Defending Medicaid

Public Benefits

Defending Medicaid

Date Posted: 
06/23/2017

As Medicaid and Medicaid Expansion under the ACA comes under attack, it is critical to speak up to preserve these vital health benefits. In order to take action, here's what you need to know:

Raise Your Voice: Speak Up To Save Medicaid

Last Update: September 21, 2017

A new bill to slash Pennsylvania's Medicaid funding is a growing threat in the U.S. Senate. The Graham-Cassidy plan would end Medicaid expansion. It would drastically cut funding for traditional Medicaid.  Call your U.S. Senators today, and tell them to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy plan!

The U.S. Senate’s Health Care Bill Would Decimate Life-Saving Medicaid Benefits for Pennsylvania Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and Children

Last Update: June 23, 2017

The United States Senate introduced their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The so-called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” would decimate Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. The Senate bill includes devastating funding cuts for the traditional Medicaid program, which covers children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.  In fact, the Senate bill cuts Medicaid even more than the House bill does.  The cuts would lead to the loss of billions of dollars in federal funding for Pennsylvania, forcing the Commonwealth to cut services and enrollment.

Pennsylvania Medicaid Is Facing Threats at the Federal and State Levels

Last Update: May 31, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program covers nearly 2.9 million Pennsylvanians, most of whom are children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.  Pennsylvania Medicaid ensures that children can access preventive care like vaccinations, and it provides early intervention services for children with autism or serious disabilities.  It helps older adults and individuals with disabilities to live independently in their homes, and it pays for quality nursing home care when necessary.  It also helps workers to stay healthy and employed.

In recent months, Pennsylvania Medicaid is facing threats at both the state and federal levels.  If proposed cuts to Medicaid move forward, Pennsylvania may have to limit eligibility or cut services for people who rely on Medicaid to get and stay healthy.

Medicaid Waivers: Still a Bad Fit for Pennsylvania

Last Update: May 31, 2017

In 2017, the newly appointed head of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to states, inviting them to apply for new waivers, which would waive certain requirements for state Medicaid programs.  Just as with the unpopular 2014 Healthy Pennsylvania initiative, waivers that would create red tape for Medicaid enrollees are still a bad fit for Pennsylvania.

Nonpartisan CBO Confirms that Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Pennsylvanians who Need Health Coverage Most

Last Update: May 25, 2017

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the U.S. House of Representatives’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The CBO confirms that federal Medicaid cuts would come at a significant cost, both to Pennsylvania's state budget and to the children, older adults, and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid to stay healthy.

Protect Women: Protect Medicaid

Last Update: May 10, 2017

Since Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid program in 2015, more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians have gained health coverage.  The majority of new enrollees are women. As a result, more women than ever have access to affordable health care.  Women also make up a majority of the people who are getting traditional Medicaid coverage, which covers pregnant women, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and very low income parents. Medicaid helps women and families maintain stable and healthy lives.

In May 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The bill would roll back Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, while creating per capita caps, or per-person limits, on traditional Medicaid funding.  It would create new red tape to make it harder for families to get and keep the Medicaid coverage they need.  These cuts to Medicaid would harm Pennsylvania women and families who rely on Medicaid to access health care when they need it most. The bill is now being considered by the U.S. Senate.

Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Depend on Medicaid

Last Update: May 10, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program provides vital safety net coverage for people with disabilities.  More than 40% of Medicaid expenditures in Pennsylvania are used to provide services for people with disabilities.  Medicaid saves lives and provides services that enable people with disabilities to live independently in their communities, obtain an education, or return to work. The bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate, would drastically reduce federal funding for Pennsylvania and threaten the care of seniors and people with disabilities.

The U.S. House Health Care Bill: Devastating for Families, Seniors, and People with Disabilities who Rely on Medicaid

Last Update: May 10, 2017

On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by a vote of 217 to 2013.  The Senate is now considering the House bill. The House bill is deeply harmful to all Pennsylvania families.  It would cover fewer people than the ACA covers, while shifting costs from the federal government to individual enrollees and Pennsylvania taxpayers.

The House bill is particularly devastating for Pennsylvania families who rely on Medicaid to get and stay healthy.  The bill would roll back Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion, while cutting federal Medicaid funding for children, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and pregnant women.  It would create new red tape to make it harder for families to get and keep the Medicaid coverage they need. Speak out today!  Ask your U.S. Senators to protect families, seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid.  Ask your Senators to reject the cuts to Medicaid in the House bill.

Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Confirms that House Bill to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act would Devastate Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Program

Last Update: March 13, 2017

the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysisof the U.S. House of Representatives’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).The CBO confirms that the House bill would be particularly devastating for Pennsylvania families who rely on Medicaid to get and stay healthy.

Medicaid Funding Caps Would Harm Older Adults

Last Update: March 10, 2017

Older adults should receive access to affordable health care and long term care services to enable them to live safely, with dignity and in their own homes whenever possible.  Congress is currently considering a bill that threatens to drastically reduce health care coverage and access for seniors.   The bill would roll back Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion and impose per capita caps, or per-person limits, on Medicaid funding.  Here are five ways the bill would harm older Pennsylvanians.

Medicaid Expansion Makes PA Healthier

Last Update: February 28, 2017

Since Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid in 2015, more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians have had better access to medical care. In February 2017, Pennsylvania released a report on Medicaid expansion. The report shows that Medicaid expansion works:  families are able to get the preventive care and treatment they need. Here are some highlights from the report.

Block Grants and Per Capita Caps: Two Bad Deals for Pennsylvania

Last Update: February 6, 2017

Congress is considering converting the federal Medicaid program to a block grant.  Through block grants, the federal government makes lump sum payments to states based on a formula.  Funding increases are capped at low, fixed rates that do not keep up with inflation.  Block grant proposals are designed to save federal dollars by giving states much less federal funding than they would receive under current program rules.

Congress may also consider imposing per capita caps on Medicaid funding.  Through per capita caps, the federal government pays states fixed amounts to cover each Medicaid enrollee based on a formula.  Funding increases are capped and do not keep up with inflation.  Like block grants, per capita caps are designed to save federal dollars by giving states much less funding than they currently receive.

Both block grants and per capita caps are bad deals for Pennsylvania!  Both proposals would create holes in the state budget that would grow larger over time.  Pennsylvania would be forced to ration care by cutting benefits or limiting eligibility for some or all categories of enrollees.

Pennsylvania Medicaid Is Flexible and Innovative without a Block Grant

Last Update: January 31, 2017

Congress is considering converting the federal Medicaid program to a block grant.  Through block grants, the federal government makes fixed payments to states based on a formula.  Funding remains unchanged over time, or increases are capped at low, fixed rates.  Block grant proposals are designed to save federal dollars, by giving states less federal funding than they would receive under current program rules.

Supporters claim that Medicaid block grants would give states more flexibility in running their Medicaid programs, allowing them to innovate.  Yet Pennsylvania already has significant flexibility in how it runs its Medicaid program.  A Medicaid block grant would only give Pennsylvania one type of flexibility:  the “flexibility” to cut benefits, in response to devastating funding cuts from the federal government.

Seven Great Things about Enrolling 700,000 Pennsylvanians in Medicaid Expansion

Last Update: January 24, 2017

In February 2017, Pennsylvania enrollment in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reached 700,000 people. Through Medicaid expansion, families that need help affording medical care can get the preventive care and treatment they need. Medicaid expansion is good for families, taxpayers, and the economy. Here are seven reasons why.

Converting Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI to Block Grants Would Harm Pennsylvania Families

Last Update: January 10, 2017

Congress is considering converting the federal Medicaid program to a block grant.  It is also weighing a proposal from House Speaker Paul Ryan to package eleven federal human services programs, like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) benefits and child care subsidies, into one “mega block grant” in a number of states.  Members of Congress also may introduce a bill to convert Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to a block grant.  SSI is a type of Social Security benefit that helps children and adults with serious disabilities, as well as seniors.

Through block grants, the federal government makes fixed payments to states for public benefits programs based on a formula.  The block grant funding remains unchanged over time, or increases are capped at low, fixed rates.  In 1996, Congress converted cash assistance for the neediest families to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant.  The results have been disastrous for Pennsylvania families, and TANF should serve as a cautionary tale for officials who are considering converting other benefits programs to block grants.

Converting Medicaid, SNAP, and/or SSI to block grants would hurt Pennsylvania families.  This fact sheet summarizes the four most harmful aspects of block grants.

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Program Is a Vital Tool in Fighting the Opioid Crisis

Last Update: January 10, 2017

The number of Pennsylvanians lost to overdose is at record highs. In 2015, over 3,000 Pennsylvanians died from heroin and opioid-related overdoses.  That number is expected to increase for 2016.   The General Assembly and the Wolf Administration have recognized the problem by working together on bipartisan policies to address the opioid crisis.

Pennsylvania has another vital tool in fighting the opioid crisis:  Medicaid.  Medicaid provides critically important health care to Pennsylvanians who need substance use treatment.  Yet Congress is considering cuts to Medicaid that would reverse the progress that Pennsylvania has made in addressing the opioid crisis.