Rally held in the state Capitol calling for Medicaid expansion

A rally held in the state Capitol on Monday put pressure on Governor Corbett and his administration to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Carmela Green is a private care nurse who spoke at the rally. She is currently uninsured and said that if she got sick or seriously hurt it would bankrupt her. “You don’t have the security. I’m 51 years old, I’ve been working in the work force since I was 18 years old so I feel as though I should have health care” said Green.

She’s part of roughly 500,000 people in the state that fall into the Pennsylvania Gap, meaning she makes too much to get the Affordable Care Act, but not enough to qualify for Medicaid. Demonstrators like Green rallied at the state Capitol to ask the governor to expand Medicaid instead of following his Healthy PA plan.

“Our main problem with Healthy Pennsylvania is that it creates drastic cuts to current medicaid recipients” said Antoinette Kraus of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. However Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly Mackereth said the state is paying for services that people aren’t using and that the Healthy PA proposal would fix that.

“We’re going to structure it low risk, high risk. So if you don’t need X level of service than you’ll get a lower level. If you do need it than you’ll shift to the higher risk an you’ll get it” said Mackereth.

Uninsured people like Carmela Green said they can’t wait for Healthy PA to be implemented, Green wants coverage as soon as possible. “I am in debt and all my debt is because I don’t have healthcare” said Green. The Governor’s administration is still working out the details of the Healthy PA proposal and it could take as long as a year to implement it.