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Caution: brick wall ahead

500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians are waiting.

When the Affordable Care Act became law it offered an opportunity to expand the Medicaid program in the state. For the first four years, the federal government would pick up the tab to cover new beneficiaries and 90% of the costs after that. And it would create an estimated 41,000 jobs for Pennsylvania in the process.

That’s a pretty good deal – so good, half the states are already doing it.

But right-wing Republicans like Governor Corbett have chosen to appease Tea Party extremists instead of doing the right thing.

So instead, Governor Corbett is taking a different path. He’s opting out of the expansion, and seeking federal approval for an alternative plan. The problem? The Governor rigged his alternative program to fail, putting a big brick wall in front of the uninsured.

Here’s how: tucked inside the Governor’s plan are so-called “work-search” requirements that add another layer of bureaucracy between an unemployed person and their health insurance. No other state has included such provisions, and Governor Corbett knows the federal government will never accept the plan as designed.

The Governor’s gamesmanship is standing between 500,000 Pennsylvanians and their health insurance. Join me in telling Governor Corbett to withdraw his proposal and accept the Medicaid expansion that could help Pennsylvania’s uninsured today.

This is gamesmanship, a way to look sympathetic to the uninsured while appeasing the radical right.

Join me in asking Governor Corbett to take yes for an answer. Tell him to end the games and take the Medicaid expansion that’s already on the table.

The uninsured shouldn’t have to wait around. Thanks for joining us.

Mike Stack

Posted on March 4, 2014.