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DiGirolamo Bill to Expand Medicaid Passes Committee
6/4/2014
HARRISBURG – Faced with a $1.5 billion budget shortfall and up to 600,000 residents without affordable health care coverage, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) today led the House Human Services Committee in reporting out legislation that would immediately expand the state’s Medicaid program, as prompted by the federal Affordable Care Act. The legislation passed out of committee by a 12-11 bipartisan vote.

“Expanding Medicaid is absolutely the right thing to do, and passing this legislation now allows it to have serious consideration before the budget deadline,” said DiGirolamo, who sponsored the legislation and a related amendment. “This proposal allows the administration to continue negotiating with the federal government on its Healthy PA plan, and in the meantime, gives the state the ability to draw down much-needed federal money. By not expanding Medicaid, the Commonwealth is losing $10 million a day.”

Under House Bill 1492, the General Assembly would authorize the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to continue negotiating with the federal government for permission to enroll up to 600,000 low-income Pennsylvanians who qualify into Medicaid as part of the Healthy PA proposal. In the meantime, DPW would provide bridge coverage to the Medicaid expansion population that looks like traditional Medicaid expansion. This would allow the state to immediately draw down hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

DiGirolamo pointed out that the legislation contains several protections that allows the state to opt out if the federal government does not hold up its end of the funding or other requirements.

Expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania can bring into the state $500 million in the first year and help balance the budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year by June 30.

The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.

Representative Gene DiGirolamo
18th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
717.705.2094
jkeaton@pahousegop.com  
GeneDiGirolamo.com / Facebook.com/GeneDiGirolamo
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