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HAP: Healthy PA should start earlier, be less complex

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After assessing Healthy Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed alternative to a standard Obamacare Medicaid expansion, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania has concerns.

"While HAP appreciates the willingness of Governor Corbett's team to work on the issues that are of greatest concern to Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems, we cannot fully endorse the application as currently drafted," Andy Carter, HAP president and CEO, said in a statement presented at a public hearing today.

The statement included nine bullet points on which HAP recommends adjustments to the proposal, but HAP's biggest objections can be summarized as follows:

• The start date: Proposed is Jan. 1, 2015, and HAP is pushing for July 1, 2014.

• What HAP terms the proposal's extreme complexity: "With no fewer than 23 waivers being sought, HAP is concerned that this high level of complexity will hold up benefits, create an untenable workload for the department, and cause confusion for consumers, providers and payers."

Corbett describes the proposal, which can be seen in full here, as having two main facets: reforming the current Medicaid program and offering a Private Coverage Option for uninsured Pennsylvanians. It includes work-search and premium requirements and would have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be enacted.

Today's hearing is the final one currently scheduled on the subject.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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