February 11, 2015:
Earlier this week Governor Wolf began the process of dismantling "Healthy PA". Then-Governor Corbett proposed the Health PA plan as an alternative to an outright expansion of Medicaid. Governor Wolf’s decision is bad for people he is purporting to "help" and it’s bad for taxpayers.
Healthy PA was far from perfect, it had one clear advantage: enrollees went into private insurance plans. Although this might not seem like that big of an issue, treatment outcomes and access to care drastically improve for individuals enrolled in private insurance versus Medicaid.
Individuals enrolled in Medicaid consistently have worse treatment outcomes and poorer access to care than even the uninsured. The Heritage Foundation compiled an overview of research related to access to care and treatment outcomes; the findings are staggering. For example, the risk of mortality for individuals with Medicaid was higher than the risk for the privately insured by 56 percent for colorectal cancer, 14 percent for lung cancer, 66 percent for female breast cancer, and 149 percent for prostate cancer.
Adding insult to injury, taxpayers have already spent $95 million on information technology and set-up for Healthy PA. There is little likelihood that taxpayers will recoup that cost. Furthermore, even if the federal government (and that is a big if) makes good on its funding commitments, Pennsylvania taxpayers will be on the hook for an additional $2 billion over the next seven years.
Other than Wolf’s ideological commitment, there is no reason for Pennsylvania to go down this path.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania | P.O. Box 6726 | Harrisburg | PA | 17112