Pennsylvania's Budget Choices This Year

As we head into what everyone hopes will be the last month of the Pennsylvania budget season, this is a good moment to take stock of where we are and what’s at stake in the decisions the Governor and General Assembly will make this year.

Doing so will also explain why the Pennsylvania’s Choice campaign is urging people to attend a tele-town on the budget at 7:15 on June 1, a budget rally at noon on June 5 in Harrisburg, and lobbying days later in the month. (More information and registration for these events can be found here.)

It's Not Just a Number: PBPC Statement on the CBO Score of the AHCA

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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the Republican health care plan, the ACHA, released today shows the danger of Congressional action in advance of a serious analysis of the impact of legislation. Though it was touted as a new and improved version of the bill that failed in March, the CBO analysis shows the bill that passed the House is no better, and in some ways, far worse. The CBO estimates that, at the end of ten years, 23 million fewer Americans will have health insurance because of the legislation, which is one million less than the estimate of their earlier bill.

The Trump Budget

President Trump’s budget is a triple betrayal — of his campaign promises, of working people in Pennsylvania and around the country, and of a uniquely-American economic order that has created the shared prosperity that America once enjoyed and should enjoy again.

The President is, first, betraying his promise not to cut Medicaid, Social Security, and the social safety net — that is, programs relied on by those left behind in a changing economy.

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.

Last Chance for Sen. Toomey to Vote with Main St. Savers on Retirement Security

We hear from our friends in Washington DC that a U.S. Senate vote on a House Joint Resolution (H.J. Res. 66) that would impede states from improving retirement security for private workers could come today or tomorrow. It won’t come to a vote unless Republican leaders in the Senate think that the resolution will pass – so now is the time for Pennsylvanians to make their voice heard with Sen. Toomey. If he votes against H.J. Res 66 as he should, joining Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, that can send it down.

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.

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