Health Care

Center Launches Fall Webinar Series on Property Taxes, Health Care, More

In the spring, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center rolled out a new way to keep people connected to what's happening in Harrisburg: a biweekly webinar series. After a summer break, we're back this month with a new series of webinars over the noontime hour. So pack your brown bag lunch and join us.

A Prolonged Shutdown Will Damage PA Economy

The Pennsylvania economy remains very weak with high unemployment and sluggish job growth so far this year. Federal policymakers are partly to blame for cutting funding to schools and other services and not doing enough to support investments that build a stronger economy.

Video: What the Affordable Care Act Means for PA

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Advocates and health care providers gathered at the State Capitol this week to explain how Pennsylvanians who are working but lack health insurance will be able to shop for and compare options for affordable coverage on a new competitive Health Insurance Marketplace established by the federal health care law.

'How LIfe Changing This Will Be for People Who Thought They Would Die Without Health Insurance'

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Susan Mull, a substitute teacher from LancasterSusan Mull of Lancaster County joined health care advocates and providers Monday to preview the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace — the latest provision of the Affordable Care Act to take effect.

Morning Must Read: Better to Expand Medicaid

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In an editorial this morning, The Philadelphia Inquirer raises a number of good questions about Governor Corbett's Medicaid proposal and makes the right call in saying an expansion of health care in Pennsylvania cannot wait:

PA's Health Insurance Coverage Rates Still Below Pre-recession Levels

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New data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) show that Pennsylvanians have not made up for health insurance coverage lost during the Great Recession. It is also a big reminder that Pennsylvania needs an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act now more than ever.

Governor Announces Medicaid Plan

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Governor Tom Corbett announced his "Healthy PA" plan Monday that would expand health coverage in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act. His plan will depart from the federal law's vision of Medicaid expansion by using private health insurance plans to deliver the coverage. The Governor's plan also institutes new requirements for all Medicaid enrollees, including monthly premiums and work search requirements, that could make it more difficult for people to access health coverage. The federal government must approve the plan before it can go forward.

Third and State This Week: Health Law Saves Consumers, Upward Social Mobility, & More on State Revenue Outlook

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that ensures health insurance companies spend most premium dollars on direct medical care, shared an op-ed on what works when it come to upward social mobility, and provided more analysis on the state's revenue outlook for 2013-14.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a key reform in the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% to 85% of premium dollars on direct medical care or issue rebates to consumers.
  • On jobs and wages, Stephen Herzenberg shared his PennLive.com op-ed on a new report providing the most detailed information yet on what works — and what doesn’t — when it comes to keeping the American Dream alive.
  • On state budget and taxes, Michael Wood filed two blog posts about the official state revenue estimates for 2013-14 --  the first looking at why corporate tax collections are projected to decline, and the second examining what's expected with personal income and sales tax collections.

IN OTHER NEWS:

In recent weeks, the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center have released the following publications:

  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center published an analysis of the 2013-14 General Fund official revenue estimates, a briefing paper on how Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale impact fee comes up well short of natural gas severance taxes in Texas and West Virginia, and a press release on the pending cut to federal nutrition assistance.
  • The Keystone Research Center published a briefing paper and press release about a new landmark study showing that Pennsylvania enjoys substantially more upward mobility than many other parts of the United States.

IN THE MEDIA:

The staff and research of the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center were featured in the following news reports and radio interviews in recent weeks:

Health Law Saves Consumers by Requiring Insurers to Spend Premium Dollars on Medical Care

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Medical Loss Ratio ExplainedA key reform in the Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to spend 80% to 85% of premium dollars directly on medical care or quality improvement expenses as opposed to other administrative costs, marketing, or profits. If an insurer does not meet the standard, it must provide rebates to consumers or businesses.

Third and State This Week: Budget Analysis, Food Security Danger, Unremarkable Private Job Growth & Payday Lenders

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the state budget, the danger facing America's leading food security program, Pennsylvania's unremarkable private-sector job performance, and a gambit by payday lenders that backfired.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward shared the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's detailed analysis of the 2013-14 budget, and Michael Wood explained that tax changes enacted along with the budget made some steps toward reform but weigh the state's Tax Code down with more special interest tax breaks.
  • On the federal budget, Sharon Ward wrote that legislation separating agricultural programs from nutrition supports funded through the farm bill poses a threat to food assistance for millions of struggling parents, children, and vulnerable citizens.
  • On jobs, Stephen Herzenberg blogged that Pennsylvania’s private-sector job growth has almost stalled since about a year into Governor Corbett's term.
  • On consumer protection, Mark Price explained how payday lenders won few friends in the state Senate when they convinced House leaders to insert language into a must-pass Fiscal Code bill stating it was the intent of House and Senate leaders to enact payday legislation in the fall.

STATE BUDGET RESOURCES:

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