Health Care

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog for Week of March 21

This week on Third and State, we blogged about Marcellus Shale trickle down economics, the Affordable Care Act's first birthday, unions and inequality, and much more!

In case you missed it:

  • On the Marcellus Shale, Mike Wood notes that trickle down economics is not helping the local communities across Pennsylvania hosting increased natural gas drilling.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal highlights a "consumers' hearing" in the State Capitol Rotunda on the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act's passage. The hearing presented the perspective of Pennsylvanians who have benefited from the law - a perspective that was omitted from a congressional hearing on the landmark law also held at Pennsylvania's State Capitol this week.
  • On federal tax issues, Chris blogs about an interview on WHYY's Fresh Air that explained some of the accounting gimmicks that large corporations use to shelter income overseas and avoid as much as $90 billion a year in U.S. taxes.
  • On wages and income inequality, Mark Price shares research documenting that in economies where more people are covered by unions, there is less inequality.
  • Finally, Mark has this week's Friday Funny: The Daily Show's Jon Stewart takes on new governors, mean stepdads and confusion within the administration of Maine's new governor about what exactly a mural is.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Consumers Tell Real Story of Affordable Care Act

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The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce convened in Harrisburg today for a hearing focused on rolling back the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.

Not far from the hearing room, dozens of Pennsylvanians gathered in the Capitol Rotunda for a "consumers hearing" to highlight just how much the landmark health law has impacted the lives of everyday Pennsylvanians. Consumers were noticeably absent from the docket of speakers at the congressional hearing, which included Governor Corbett, lawmakers and the usual-suspect business lobbyists.

The consumers' message was simple: don't roll back reforms that are critical to the health and lives of working Pennsylvanians.

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog This Week

This week on Third and State, we blogged about the upcoming state budget, the end of adultBasic, a questionable business climate ranking, and much more!

In case you missed it:

  • On the state budget and the economy, Sharon Ward shared a podcast featuring her and Jan Jarrett of PennFuture discussing the state budget principles that will create jobs and ensure the long-term economic success of the Commonwealth. Mike Wood, meanwhile, challenged comments made this week by Budget Secretary Charles Zogby that Pennsylvania's budget woes are due to overspending. Mike points out that nearly every state in the nation — low-spending and high-spending alike — is facing a budget shortfall this year thanks to a recession-driven decline in revenue collections.
  • On the economy, Mark Price blogged about the problems with a new business climate ranking from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that seems to favor states with lower wages and less human development. Mark also shared a funny but informative video of the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart discussing pay on Wall Street and for teachers. 
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal highlighted a New York Times story on the end of Pennsylvania's adultBasic health insurance program this week and what that means for the more than 41,000 Pennsylvanians who lost their coverage.
  • Finally, on jobs and wages, Stephen Herzenberg noted that The Economist agrees with the Keystone Research Center on one thing: people don’t take government jobs to get rich.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

What the End of adultBasic Means

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On Tuesday, more than 41,000 Pennsylvanians lost their adultBasic health insurance and joined the ranks of the uninsured. The New York Times marked the occasion with a report that noted it was "one of the largest disenrollments in recent memory."

The Times led off its coverage with a look at the new normal for one adultBasic enrollee, Ken Kewley of Easton:

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog This Week

This week on Third and State, we blogged about the looming loss of health coverage for nearly 42,000 adultBasic consumers, a misinformation campaign on public- and private-sector pay, the problem with Arkansas' gas drilling tax, and much more!

In case you missed it:

  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about the faith community's call on Governor Corbett to preserve adultBasic health coverage for nearly 42,000 Pennsylvanians. Later in the week, Chris also wrote about a candlelight vigil planned for 5:30 p.m. February 28 outside the Governor's Mansion to protest the end of adultBasic.
  • On public sector wages, Mark Price urged readers, in light of the battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, to beware of misinformation campaigns on the differences in public- and private-sector pay.
  • On the natural gas drilling tax, Michael Wood explains why a prominent Arkansas Republican, two-time gubernatorial candidate, and former gas company executive wants to increase his state's natural gas drilling tax.
  • Finally, on jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg cites New York Times economist David Leonhardt to explain why we need more action to create jobs.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

In Less Than Four Days, 42,000 Pennsylvanians Will Lose Their Health Insurance

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Looking forward to the weekend? Well, thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians may not be. This, in all likelihood, will be the last weekend they have health insurance coverage for quite some time.

The nearly 42,000 Pennsylvanians who are enrolled in adultBasic will lose their health insurance coverage as the sun sets on the state’s adultBasic health insurance program Monday. This, despite the best efforts of some lawmakers to save it!

Save adultBasic, Faith Community Tells Governor Corbett

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Watch a 10-minute clip of highlights from today's faith community press conference.

230 faith community leaders in Pennsylvania added their voice to the growing chorus in support of presesrving the state's adultBasic health insurance program at the state Capitol today.

In Case You Missed It: Third and State Blog This Week

This week. we blogged about the upcoming two-year anniversary of the Recovery Act, President Obama's budget plan, a few hundred Valentine's Day messages for Governor Corbett, sales tax loopholes that only Amazon.com could love, and much more!

In case you missed it:

  • On the state budget, Michael Wood detailed Amazon's foot-stomping response to efforts by states to close a sales tax loophole that gives the online retailer an unfair competitive edge over other retailers. (Spoiler alert: The brick-and-mortar stores are none too happy about it!) Mike also shined some light on Pennsylvania's "conservative" debt levels and explained that Pennsylvania's debt service payments have long been low — between 3% and 4% of the state budget.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal shared some of the Valentines that Governor Corbett received this week from Pennsylvanians asking him to have a heart and save adultBasic.
  • On the federal budget, Chris highlighted some analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on President Obama's budget proposal for the 2012 Fiscal Year. Mark Price, meanwhile, shared a video clip of Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs discussing the federal budget and noting that both parties have the wrong priorities by cutting services vital to working- and middle-class families.
  • Finally, on the economy, Mark Price takes note of the upcoming two-year anniversary of the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mark also blogged that policymakers are focused on the wrong deficit — Main Street America is a lot more concerned about a deficit in jobs and wages than they are about the federal fiscal deficit.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

A Valentine’s Day Message to Governor Corbett

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I don't know how Governor Tom Corbett celebrated Valentine's Day on Monday, but I do know that he got a lot more Valentines than I did.

More than 700 people sent the Governor Valentines asking him to have a heart and preserve the state's adultBasic health insurance program. Dozens more sent the Governor the same message on his Facebook page.

Anti-health Law Bill Would Be Tremendous Setback for Small Businesses, Uninsured Pennsylvanians

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The effort to rollback health care reform is in full swing, nationally and in Pennsylvania. In one of its first acts, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act on January 19, although the bill is not expected to get a hearing in the Senate, and the President has vowed to veto it.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is careening down the same track as its Congressional counterparts. State Representative Matt Baker, the incoming chairman of the House Health Committee, has scheduled his repeal bill, House Bill 42, for consideration by the committee on Monday, February 7.

Health reform opponents have seized on the individual responsibility provision as a key point of attack, and the Baker bill would prohibit Pennsylvania from enacting or enforcing any penalties on individuals who do not purchase insurance.

The real danger is that the bill will prevent the state from moving forward with key provisions, including establishment of health insurance exchanges that will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to shop for affordable insurance, and that will administer subsidies. Pennsylvania is already behind the curve on this one, lagging behind liberal bastions like Texas and Indiana that are moving aggressively to implement reform and take advantage of federal grants.

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