Gov. Corbett has tossed about 200,000 Pennsylvanians off medical care since his inauguration fifteen months ago. He ended Adult Basic and slashed funding for Medicaid administered by the Department of Public Welfare. This year’s $30 million cut to DPW follows his $426 slashing in 2011. This means many elderly, poor and disabled citizens are on their own. There is a program for those with pre-existing conditions however: The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, part of the Affordable Care Act.
I mentioned this problem to Joanne Grossi of HHS at the recent White House Community Partnership Summit and she followed up by having this information sent to me by HHS.
People who have had difficulty finding health coverage or have been turned down for coverage
because of a pre-existing condition and feel like they are out of options are not out of luck.
They may now be eligible for a new program created by the Affordable Care Act-the
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). PCIP is one way the Affordable Care Act helps
uninsured people with pre-existing conditions get high quality care at affordable prices. PCIP is
designed as a bridge to 2014 when the nation transitions to a new marketplace and all
Americans-regardless of their health status-will have access to affordable, quality health
coverage through a competitive marketplace for health plans called a Health Insurance Exchange.
This health coverage program is administered at the state level in 27 states and by the federal
government in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
To qualify for this program, a person applying for coverage must be: a U.S. citizen or reside here
legally; have been without health coverage for at least 6 months before applying; and have a
pre-existing condition or have been denied coverage because of a health condition. Eligibility is not
based on income and enrollees are not charged a higher premium because of a medical condition.
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan provides people with a pre-existing condition
comprehensive health coverage at the same price that healthy people pay. It covers primary and
specialty care, hospital care, prescription drugs, home health and hospice care, skilled nursing
care and preventive health and maternity care.
Premiums may vary depending on where you live, your age, and which health plan you choose.
Enrollees may be responsible for paying a deductible and some cost-sharing expenses.
This coverage program is already changing-and saving-the lives of enrollees across the country
and helping them finally receive treatment for conditions that have plagued them for years. James
of Katy, Texas was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. James was able to join the Pre-Existing
Condition Insurance Plan in Texas and he received the medical treatment that he needed.
Each state may use a different method to determine whether a person has a pre-existing
condition or has been denied health insurance coverage. For more information, including
eligibility, plan benefits and rates, and how to apply, visit www.pcip.gov and click on “Find Your
State.” Then select your state from a map of the United State or from the drop-down menu. The
PCIP Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Call toll-free 1-866-717-5826
Gov. Tom Corbett threw 42,000 Pennsylvanians under his bus today by refusing to extend Adult Basic Coverage (ABC). The program provided some minimum health coverage for those unable to afford to purchase it and was paid for by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies. They decided last year not to renew their public commitment in spite of holding billions in retained profits. Without any public programs we must re-examine their non profit statuses. Perhaps they now should be forced to pay taxes on the billions they earn denying ordinary people eligible coverage for sicknesses and injuries. What this really says is that it’s time for a single payer system to put them out of business. Doing so would also cut the state deficit drastically along with school and county property taxes.
Tossing 42,000 people into the ranks of the uninsured will cause costs to increase all over our Commonwealth. Instead of having some basic coverage now these patients won’t be able to afford to pay for medical care and that cost will be spread to those who do increasing their premiums and…increasing profits for the Blues.
Today is the final day of AdultBasic. Tomorrow 42,000 Pennsylvanians will awaken to a life with no basic health care coverage thanks to Gov. Corbett. Democrats offered to trim legislative budgets or use their surplus to fund the program to no avail. ABC used to be paid for by the Blues with excess revenues. The PA Blues are sitting on billions in retained profits but have no cash to maintain this vital program? Perhaps it is time to revisit their non profit status.
The Oscars were last night which explains why I was late getting going this morning. The snorefest began with a neat dream sequence for hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway. She was refreshing and made few errors while he was resplendent in white tights during the opening number then seemed stoned the remainder of the night. The event dragged on and on and on. Why couldn’t they have found real singers? I actually saw The King’s Speech and thought it wonderful. Kudos to Colin Firth who was nominated last year for the film A Single Man.
Gov. Scott Walker failed to listen to the thousands who protested at all fifty state capitols Saturday and ordered his Capitol building emptied last night. Gov. Walker, that is the people’s Capitol, not yours. Protesters remained in their building. Perhaps we need a giant rally this weekend in DC. Here is a 92 year old standing up for Wisconsin at Saturday’s rally in Harrisburg:
Let’s remember, it wasn’t public workers or pensions which created the deficits but failed Republican policies. Dick Cheney infamously said “deficits don’t matter.” They do but where were all these Tea baggers when George W. Bush doubled our national debt in eight years? His tax cuts for the rich, two unpaid for wars and recession are what created the deficits. Where were these morons then?
Be careful if you have a miscarriage in Georgia. A new bill in the GOP’s war on women would make that a capital offense.
Treasurer Rob McCord is touting how much unclaimed property has been returned to the people. Funny, I’ve had a claim in for over two years and his Department won’t even respond.
Another gas well exploded late last week near the Ohio border. Fracking fluid in storage facilities blew up. This is what we’re injecting into our drinking water and rivers. The New York Times reveals just how much fracking fluid is being used to pollute our waterways.
The hacker group Anonymous has taken down Americans For Prosperity, the Koch brother’s astroturf group supporting the Tea Party.
Michael Steele is out as RNC Chair. The biggest blowhard in politics he did turn things around for Republicans. The new RNC Chair is Reince Priebus of Wisconsin. No, it isn’t an exotic brand of cheese. I’m not sure what a Reince Priebus is but I called Kirk yesterday to apologize for reincing his priebus.
The Pennsylvania Progressive Summit is a week away. Have you registered yet? I’ll be there and hope to everyone else attending. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Tucson will be there along with Rev. Jesse Jackson. The event is at the Sheraton Square in Pittsburgh. They say rooms are being taken quickly because of a Steelers home game. Steelers home game? If they and the Patriots win today they’ll be in Boston next week not the ‘Burgh. Do they really think the Jets are going to win? Who knows the Ravens might even win today. Go Baltimore!
AdultBasic is on its last legs. The Blues reluctantly agreed to extend the health care program for poor people another two months but their greedy leaders are refusing to extend it again. This is but one more example why we need to pass single payer in Pennsylvania.
Tom Corbett will be sworn in as Governor Tuesday. His Cabinet is coming together as he names people to key positions. So far his picks aren’t encouraging. DEP will be a key area and hos choice of Michael Krancer is peeking my interest. With the inevitable scandals over shale drilling and the fracking of our water systems it won’t be long before he is tested.
Ed Rendell came out against the death penalty and says the legislature should re-examine its effectiveness and cost. This comes at the end of his tenure. He has also finally gotten religion about campaign finance and other hot button issues after he abused the systems for eight years. These things only matter Ed when you tackle them at the beginning of your term. Its nothing but hot air now. Where were you when it counted, before you signed all those death warrants?
Sen. Mike Lee, newly minted Tea bagger from Utah says child labor laws are unconstitutional. He wants to roll back a century of protections for children and send them back to sweatshops. As a reactionary Tenther he thinks only those parts of the constitution which protect people are irrelevant. Unfortunately for Lee the document also contains the 14th Amendment which pretty much trumped the 10th. Of course this is why radical Republicans are on a mission to repeal the 14th.
The Farm Show is going on once again in Harrisburg and I’ll probably head that way for the afternoon.