East Penn Press

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jostling and jockeying about healthcare in Pennsylvania The Corbett administration and healthcare advocates continue to wrangle

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 by APRIL PETERSON apeterson@tnonline.com in Local News

In the lead up to Affordable Care Act health exchanges opening early this month and the discussion around Medicaid in the state, the Corbett administration and Obamacare advocates are duking it out in rhetoric, press conferences, online spots and photo opportunities.

In a Sept. 16 conference call organized by Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Cheryl Bettigloe, president of the National Physician's Alliance and a practicing physician, warned 613,000 Pennsylvania residents would go without coverage should Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett reject Medicaid expansion.

"It doesn't make medical sense or common sense," Bettigloe said.

Later that day, Corbett, after announcing his Healthy Pennsylvania health care reform plan and Medicaid expansion, visited Lehigh Valley Health Network, Cedar Crest, to see telemedicine technology at work. Corbett's plan draws upon plans in Arkansas and Iowa, a plan Corbett touts as "common sense," according to coverage in The Press newspapers.

In a press statement, Stuart Shapiro, M.D., president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, called Corbett's proposal "both very thoughtful and the right step for Pennsylvania," describing the current Medicaid system in the state as "on an unsustainable path" and expansion as proposed in the Affordable Care Act as "the easy way out."

Neal Bisno, president of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, said during the aforementioned PHAN press conference call, public pressure prompted the state administration to act.

"Unfortunately, we had to bring this governor kicking and screaming," Bisno said.

Both sides tout budget savings and job creation as benefits of the expansion.