Rejecting Medicaid Expansion the Right Call

I would like to commend the 38 state house members that presented a unified voice in opposition to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provision.

Even without this expansion, Medicaid costs are unsustainable. Over the last decade, program spending increased more than 80 percent, nearly twice as much as personal income. Medicaid now consumes 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s total state operating budget and is projected to grow for years to come.  Continue reading

Reps. Aument and Cutler: PA Can’t Afford Washington’s Bad Medicine

Pennsylvania faces a number of critical issues that Gov. Tom Corbett and the newly elected General Assembly will soon be required to confront. Perhaps the most consequential to job creators and taxpayers is implementation of several mandates contained within the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 ruled that the federal government may not withhold Medicaid funds from the states if they do not create health insurance exchanges as required by ObamaCare. This means states may now decide whether or not they want to participate in this federal scheme without losing money that helped pay the medical bills for the most vulnerable. Another major issue our state must confront is the decision of whether or not to implement the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid.  We believe Pennsylvania should stand with our job creators, patients and taxpayers, and reject both.

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Responsible and Balanced Budget Passed on Time

Building upon the fiscal responsibility of last year’s budget, the General Assembly passed the 2012-13 budget. The Governor approved the budget which went into effect July 1st. Unlike the previous administration, Governor Corbett managed to deliver two consecutive balanced budgets on time. The spending plan demonstrates a commitment to taxpayers, free enterprise, students and the state’s most needy.
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ObamaCare: The Wrong Prescription for Pennsylvania

March 23rd marked the second anniversary of President Obama’s signing of his signature healthcare bill into law. The administration’s celebration lethargic celebration was largely overshadowed by the pending Supreme Court decision on the act’s constitutionality. The controversial law has only exacerbated uncertainty in the weak economy. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously stated, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Now that two years have passed and thousands of pages of regulations have been written, independent policy analysts at the Congressional Budget Office assert that ObamaCare is nothing more than a series of broken promises wrongly suited for both America and Pennsylvania.

In an attempt to sell his plan to the American people, President Obama promised citizens that were satisfied with their current healthcare coverage that they would be able to keep their plan. Unfortunately, the CBO has estimated that a staggering 20 million Americans will lose their employer-provided coverage as a direct result of ObamaCare. This disheartening reality will betray millions of Americans as the President’s centerpiece for reform ensured that employer-converage would remain intact.

Additionally, President Obama pledged to make healthcare more affordable by lowering family premiums by as much as $2,500. In contrast to the proposed savings, CBO calculations project that family premiums will actually increase by more than $2,100 by the year 2016. An Annals of Family Medicine study determined that costs will continue to rise. In the year 2021, the average family’s premiums are projected to equal half of their median household income. This unsustainable trend is expected to continue to the point where insurance costs will exceed family incomes by 2033.

ObamaCare represents a government takeover of the healthcare system and the implications for Pennsylvanians are alarming to say the least. Reports indicate that in less than one decade, more than 800,000 Keystone residents will be added to Medicaid. A staggering one out of four Pennsylvanians will be enrolled into this government insurance program. Medicaid currently consumes more than 30 percent of the entire state’s operating budget. In a national comparison, this represents the second largest share of any state. The influx of nearly a million extra enrollees will only accelerate the rapidly rising public welfare spending and will undoubtedly impose further hardships on the state budget. In exchange for the lavish price tag, Pennsylvanian will expand a government insurance program which is notorious for providing less than adequate healthcare services.

The ObamaCare debacle is only beginning to take its toll on the American people. Two years after its enactment, it is becoming abundantly clear that President Obama’s promises were nothing more than hopeful rhetoric. Americans are now faced with many uncertainties. Employer coverage is anticipated to drop by the tends of millions while healthcare costs are projected to steadily rise. As a result, state government are burdened by a massive expansion in Medicaid. This does not even take into account the half a billion dollars in taxes or the individual mandate current before the Supreme Court. The justices must acknowledge ObamaCare’s assault on the Constitution, which enables government’s ability to regulate inactivity. Constitutional or not, it is absolutely essential that the government’s takeover of healthcare is repealed so that Americans can move forward with market reforms and competition.