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House Bill 59 is Callous, Cruel and Will Strip Coverage from Thousands of Working Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG — In response to today’s expected vote by the Pennsylvania House on House Bill 59, amending the Human Services Code, Matt Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare PA, released the following statement:

“The Human Services Code Amendment that moved suddenly through Rules Committee last night and was voted on today by the House is shockingly callous and will only serve to punish working Pennsylvanians by making it more difficult for families to access healthcare services that keep them healthy and employed. Not only that, these drastic and controversial changes are being jammed through behind closed doors without any public input or debate.

Under the guise of reigning Medicaid costs and promoting personal responsibility, these changes to the Human Services Code seek to impose unfair work requirements, and higher premiums and copays while cutting benefits and locking beneficiaries in their plans. Since the majority of Medicaid Expansion enrollees are already working and paying copays, this amendment’s true aim of lowering Medicaid enrollment couldn’t be more obvious — or cruel.

Study after study has shown that increasing premiums and copays for Medicaid enrollees only serves to strip away coverage which can result in unmet health needs and tragic outcomes. Do we really want to go back to when uninsured Pennsylvanians are forgoing care only to end up in the ER as their primary care delivery system?

The PA legislature would be wise to take heed of the process playing out on the national stage when lawmakers attempt to take away Americans’ healthcare coverage with no public input. I urge all legislators to oppose House Bill 59 and any attempt to make it more difficult for Pennsylvania families to access their healthcare.

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For more information contact Amelia Abromaitis at amelia.abromaitis@seiuhcpa.org or at 215-219-4248

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