Posts by marc stier

PBPC Statement on the AHCA Vote

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HARRISBURG – Marc Stier, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement following today's passage of the American Health Care Act by the U.S. House:

 "Today the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed legislation that will strip health insurance from 1.3 million Pennsylvanians, will lead to the pre-mature death of 3,250 Pennsylvanians for lack of health insurance, and will threaten the health insurance of five million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions. If the the health care exchanges survive, premiums for older adults will skyrocket, making health insurance unaffordable for most Pennsylvanians between the age of 50 and 64. 

ACA Repeal Puts Pennsylvanians Who Work for Large Corporations At Risk

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The disastrous implications of the GOP health care bill are becoming ever more apparent, especially for those who get their insurance from large national corporations. Under the bill, even if Pennsylvania does not opt-out of the federal essential benefits regulation, large multi-state employers could choose to deny Pennsylvanians coverage for pre-existing medical conditions or particular conditions, such as pregnancy. Or they could impose annual or lifetime limits on coverage.

They Can’t Buy Us Off

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We are hearing today that the Trump administration is “buying off” support from members of Congress for the bill to repeal the ACA by adding more money for one thing or another.

The latest is a plan to add $8 billion to the $130 billion already set aside for the high-risk pools to provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

Trump is Wrong: the AHCA Will Make Health Insurance Unaffordable for Those with Pre-Existing Conditions

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President Tump discovered not too long ago that Health Care is hard. So it’s no wonder he doesn't always get things right. He said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, "Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, 'Has to be.'"

Wrong.

Why Representative Tim Murphy Should Oppose the Republican Health Care Bill

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Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA18) has been one of the most important advocates for mental health and addiction care in this country. He’s been a champion of parity between the treatment of physical and mental health problems. And that’s why it’s so surprising that he might vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 24 million people nationwide — 1.3 million in Pennsylvania, and 67,000 in his district — will lose health insurance as a result of this legislation and many of them, by some estimates 29%, suffer from mental illness including substance abuse disorders.

Why Representative Thompson Should Vote No on the Health Care Bill

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Rep. Glenn Thompson's Background, Consequences for Constituents Are Reasons to Vote "No" on GOP Health Care Bill

Given his personal history in human services, and the demographic makeup of the 5th Congressional district, Congressman Glenn Thompson has long been an advocate for older Pennsylvanians – not just seniors but those in the 55 to 65 age bracket as well.

And that must make the upcoming vote on the Republican replacement of the ACA so difficult. As a loyal Republican, Thompson has reason to support it. But the bill is, in many ways, terrible for older Pennsylvanians, including many of his constituents in the 5th district. So the concerns of his district and his own history very much point in the other direction.

The New Version of the GOP Health Care Bill is Even Worse Than The Last One

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Having failed to enact a plan that would lead 24 million Americans and 1.1 million in PA to lose health insurance, the House Republicans have returned with a new amendment, proposed by Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), which would lead to larger losses.

Health Care Again

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Health Care Again

News reports indicate that, as many of us had feared, the Republicans in Congress and President Trump have not given up on their effort on health care, not only to repeal and replace the ACA but to institute a per capita cap on Medicaid spending.

The new plan, as we will explain in a moment, is even worse than the last one. But before we get to the details, we need to stop and ask, “why are we here again?” Knowing the answer to that question is critical to understanding what the Republicans propose.

Facts, Not Hysteria, About the Soda Tax

Co-authored by Diana Polson.

The reaction of the beverage industry to the Philadelphia soda tax continues to be self-centered, hysterical, and dubious.

Before looking at their claims, let’s keep in mind something very important: every tax has some negative consequences for some businesses. And, yes, it is a shame if some business absorbs some costs and a few people lose jobs as a result. But public policy has to be driven by the consequences for all of us. So, the question is not whether an individual business is hurt by the Philadelphia soda tax, but whether the city and its citizens benefit on the whole. We think the answer is clearly yes, not just because of the investment in Pre-K education and community recreation centers made possible by this tax, but because of the health and economic benefits of reduced soda consumption.

The (Wholly Inadequate) GOP Budget Proposal (HB 218)

The House Republican Budget proposal for 2017-2017 is deeply problematic in six respects. 

First, the proposal does not close the state’s budget deficit, but leaves a gap of close to $800 million. Most of the revenue ideas presented by the House Republican Caucus to fill that gap are similar to the one-time revenues and fund transfers that have failed to fix our structural deficit in the past. The Republicans do not seem to be considering any proposal to increase recurring revenues by fixing our upside-down tax system.