As many of you already know, members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly left Harrisburg this week without passing a revenue plan to pay for the spending bill decided on in June. While the state’s legislature could not decide on a revenue plan, the House of Representatives embarked instead on an attack on Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable: Medicaid recipients. This week, the PA House passed House Bill 59 by a vote of 102-91.
House Bill 59 targets low-income and disabled persons who get access to healthcare through Medicaid. It institutes a “work requirement” for those who are “physically and mentally able to do so”. However, the majority of non-elderly adults who do receive Medical Assistance (Medicaid) are already in working families or working themselves; unsurprisingly, common reasons for not working while on Medicaid include illness or disability. For the Commonwealth’s seniors, Medicaid covers 63% of nursing home care in Pennsylvania. House Bill 59 would also raise premiums on higher income families with disabled children.
This bill only serves to harm Pennsylvanians by imposing bureaucratic red tape, all for the sake of depriving vulnerable people of health coverage. House Bill 59 would create additional premiums and co-pays for people living in poverty, undermining the very purpose of the program. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO strongly opposes House Bill 59, and we encourage fellow Pennsylvanians to call their state senators and tell them to vote no on HB 59.