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Protestors take Medicaid fight to Harrisburg

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 05:04:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 05:55:39 PM CDT

Some states are expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, but Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has a different idea, and not everyone's happy about it.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Some states are expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, but Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has a different idea, and not everyone's happy about it.

Hundreds of people headed for the state capital Monday afternoon to express their dissatisfaction with Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" proposal, and their desire for the commonwealth to expand its Medicaid program.

"This is the yellow brick road, the road to Medicaid expansion," said Tonya Morrow with SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

"We're encouraging Governor Corbett to use his wisdom, what is the wise thing, to use his heart and compassion to do the right thing and bring healthcare home to Pennsylvania," said Sally Joe Snyder, with the Consumer Health Coalition.

"Healthy Pennsylvania is not what we are looking for," Morrow said.

Corbett argues his plan would take the financial burden off of tax payers, because it would require some Medicaid beneficiaries to pay a portion of their premiums.

Instead of expanding Medicaid, Corbett suggests using Federal Medicaid funds to provide low-income residents access to private coverage.

Critics disagree. They said Corbett's plan would cost more and take away health care benefits from those who need it the most.

Allentown resident Scot Rosenzweig diabetic and limited to a wheelchair. He is on a fixed income through social security disability.

He said he makes too much for Medical Assistance and can't afford private coverage.

"I can't afford to get necessary medical treatments that I need. My fianc? passed away in December and couldn't afford to get the treatments she needed for Hepatitis C, which would have prevented her from passing away," Rosenzweig said.

Corbett claims it wouldn't affect the most vulnerable.

Under the plan, Corbett said children, older adults, and people with disabilities would still be eligible for critical care.

The federal government still has to approve the governor's plan.

New Jersey has already expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.