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Report argues for Pennsylvania Medicaid expansion

By Steve Twedt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 01--A new report by two groups favoring an expansion of Pennsylvania'sMedicaid program says more than half of the 481,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians hold jobs and would benefit if the state expanded its Medicaid program.

Many of these residents have jobs that don't provide health insurance, or pay enough to buy it, such as home health aides, cashiers or janitors, the report says. Together, they represent 59 percent of Pennsylvania's uninsured, while another 22 percent comprise students, nonworking spouses, people with disabilities and those who have left the workforce, according to the report by Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Families USA.

"No one who gets up and goes to work every day should have to do it without health insurance," said Antoinette Kraus, director of the Health Access Network, in a release.

"By continuing to delay a coverage expansion, lawmakers are forcing hardworking Pennsylvanians and those who've fallen on hard times to live in fear that one accident or illness will wipe them out financially."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett submitted an alternative plan for Medicaid expansion earlier this year using private insurers, called Healthy PA, which is under review by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Steve Twedt: stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.

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(c)2014 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at www.post-gazette.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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