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Pennsylvania Health Care Providers Join Forces to Emphasize Importance of Medicaid

June 18, 2019

Leaders from organizations representing Pennsylvania health care providers reinforced the importance of Medicaid during meetings today on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The group emphasized that the program provides access to care for 2.8 million children; pregnant women; and elderly, blind, disabled, and working poor Pennsylvanians.

The leaders briefed Congressional delegation staff working for U.S. Representatives and met with Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate offices. These discussions provided staff with a stronger understanding of how the Medicaid program works in Pennsylvania, and of the overall Medicaid delivery system in the Commonwealth.

Representing a collaborative coalition of more than 30 Pennsylvania health care provider organizations, groups participating in the educational effort included: HAP, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, the Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association, the Pennsylvania Association of Behavioral Health, the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, the Pennsylvania Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, and the Urban Healthcare Coalition.

The discussions highlighted key features and facts about Medicaid:

  • In Pennsylvania, Medicaid covers:
    • Two-thirds of nursing home residents
    • One in five persons under age 65 with chronic disabilities
    • More than one-quarter of children
    • Approximately 40 percent of all births
  • Currently, 83 percent of Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees are covered through managed care, which is designed to improve access to high quality care, and reduce overall program costs by better managing use of health care services
  • Forty-three percent of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion population works full- or part-time, but makes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and––in the absence of Medicaid––may not have the resources to afford or access health benefits
  • National studies have validated that having health insurance coverage under Medicaid has positive impacts on infant, child, HIV, and adult disease-related mortality, and mental health status/rates of depression
  • State Medicaid expansions are associated with improved access to preventive care, self-reported improved health (e.g. blood pressure screening, flu shots, and annual check-ups), and reduced mortality among adults
  • Medicaid expansion has led to major improvements in the financial security of eligible low-income adults

HAP hopes to continue working with like-minded health care provider groups in Pennsylvania to elevate Congressional understanding and appreciation of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, and will work to maintain access to health insurance coverage and care for Pennsylvania families.

Contact Jeff Bechtel, HAP's senior vice president, health economics and policy, or Laura Stevens Kent, HAP's vice president, federal legislative advocacy, for more information about the association's collaborative work with Pennsylvania health care provider organizations, and federal advocacy efforts to preserve coverage.

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