Posts from — February 2011

adultBasic in the News

February 23, 2011   Comments Off on adultBasic in the News

With the termination of adultBasic less than one week away, news outlets across the state have been providing coverage on the consequences of canceling the program as well as last-minute attempts by State Senators and Representatives to save the critical program:

NPR

23 February 2011

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/23/133841839/in-pa-low-income-adults-soon-may-be-uninsured

Philly: The Intelligencer

10 February 2011

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer/the_intelligencer_news_details/article/27/2011/february/10/lawmakers-trying-to-save-adultbasic-1.html

Philly News

23 February 2011

Religious leaders and representatives from hundreds of faith groups across the state held a news conference asking Governor Corbett to save adultBasic, emphasizing the moral reasons behind preserving the program:

http://www.philly.com/philly/health_and_science/20110223_With_lower_income_people_in_Pa__facing_health-care_loss__religious_leaders_beg_for_bailout.html

The Associated Press

22 February 2011

Corbett aide shrugs off potential health care suit

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett’s spokesman Tuesday shrugged off a potential lawsuit over the scheduled halt of a state program that subsidizes health care for about 41,000 low-income adults.

The spokesman, Kevin Harley, declined to comment about an advocacy group’s claim that Corbett is violating federal law and state policy by arranging to kick recipients out of the adultBasic program without first checking to see whether they might be eligible for Medicaid coverage. He implied that the administration is prepared to defend its actions if taken to court.

“The state gets sued about 70 times a week, so I’m sure they’ll sue,” Harley said after Corbett presided over a ceremony marking Black History Month. The governor left after the ceremony without speaking to reporters.

AdultBasic provides basic health care coverage and does not include dental services or prescription drugs. It is designed to help low-income adults who make too much money to qualify for the state-federal Medicaid program and are too young to qualify for Medicare.

Echoing his boss and Republicans who control the Legislature, Harley blamed Democratic former Gov. Ed Rendell for the problems that are expected to cause the 9-year-old program to run out of money this month. Those critics have said Rendell relied too heavily on money from the state’s nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurers, kept premiums too low and enrolled too many people.

“It’s unfortunate that Gov. Rendell never lived up to his commitment. The fact is, it’s not sustainable and there’s no money in the budget for it,” Harley said.

Later Tuesday, Democrats, who are the minority party in the state Senate, proposed a plan to continue the program through June by having the state and health insurers both pitch in $25 million, while subscribers would add $4 million in higher premiums.

Rendell administration officials have said they warned the Legislature about the funding shortfall last summer and said they tried unsuccessfully to get the Blues to contribute more money to keep the program going through the end of the fiscal year in June 30.

In a letter last week to top Corbett administration officials, Philadelphia-based Community Legal Services asked the state Insurance Department to postpone the scheduled Feb. 28 termination of the program until participants who are also eligible for Medicaid can be identified and transferred into that program.

Read more: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/02/22/v-print/2536446/corbett-aide-shrugs-off-potential.html

Here we go, advocates…

February 22, 2011   Comments Off on Here we go, advocates…

At our core, we are all the same.  We each want to belong, to have a purpose, to be respected. 

 It is this belief that anchors the work we do at the Consumer Health Coalition most notably with our Health Committee for People with Disabilities.

 Central to our lead advocacy around the Mayview closing, sale and re-use of property, was the education and empowerment of consumers to tell their story, offer their personal witness, and allow their experience to bear on the decision-making process.  This intention was in every way a success.

 As the Governor prepares to release his 2011-2012 PA State Budget, we prepare ourselves for advocacy. 

 We will do what we have always done in terms of advocacy:

  • We will educate
  • We will be creative
  • We will share our story and the “power of the personal”
  • We will be consistent
  • We will be constant

 In the lead of our advocacy will be the consumer.  Their words, their stories, their witness….our shared efforts. 

sj;

Doctor advocates to save adultBasic

February 16, 2011   1 Comment


January 24: Enrollees in adultBasic, health care providers and other advocates joined state Representative Tony DeLuca and other lawmakers for a news conference at the state Capitol.

adultBasic enrollees from across the state shared stories about how critical this health insurance program is to their lives. Health care providers, advocates and state legislators also called on Governor Tom Corbett to preserve adultBasic.

Below, view a short clip and read the comments of Dr. Bakare, a health care provider who has been in private practice for 25 years. He serves primarily low-income communities, and sees many patients who rely on adultBasic:

“It’s important that when politicians make decision they should be very aware of the impact of those decisions on ordinary citizens. I congratulate the Governor on his election, I wish him well. I wish him success, and his administration, but that success will be measured in many little steps.  And one of those first steps, in my opinion, is the continuation of this program.  To cancel this program does not save money, it may appear to save money in the short run, but in the long run, as the Chairman stated, the back end, the cancellation makes this a very expensive program.

We have patients who will stop going for their preventative health care, end up in emergency rooms, and that will not be paid for. It’s important to realize that adultBasic is not a Cadillac plan to begin with.  Many of these patients are still responsible for 10% of most of their costs.. So they are already burdened by other costs associated with this program itself.  The program doesn’t even cover prescriptions.  I’ve had patients who are sick, I write a prescription for them and they can’t fill the prescription.  And they’ll ask you, “Is it ok for me to wait a week?”, “Is it ok for me to wait 10 days before I fill this prescription?” Many times we struggle with pharmaceutical reps to come up with samples so we can give [samples] to these people.”

Click here to listen to Dr. Bakare as he comments on the expiration of the adultBasic program.

“To cancel this program is the wrong thing to do. The Governor in his campaign, promised to improve access to health care but one of the ways to start doing that is to extend this program. He promised to reduce costs, one of the ways to do that is to extend this program. In my view, it is not only the right thing to do, it is the moral thing to do. And in the end, also the economic thing to do.  That is my little piece.”

ACA strengthenes states

February 15, 2011   Comments Off on ACA strengthenes states

The following Op-Ed from HHS Secretary Sebelius highlights the positive impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for strengthening states: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11046/1125403-109.stm

Have a Heart, Governor Corbett!

February 15, 2011   Comments Off on Have a Heart, Governor Corbett!

CHC leads local advocates in a Valentines Day advocacy and action to present Governor Corbett with 550 signed Valentines from constituents. 

The event was covered by: WPXI, KQV Radio, and the Pittsburgh  Business Times whose article appears here: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2011/02/14/coalition-protests-end-of-health-plan.html


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