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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett was joined today in Harrisburg by healthcare professionals and advocates as he unveiled his Healthy Pennsylvania plan to increase access to quality, affordable healthcare options for all Pennsylvanians.
"My plan for a Healthy Pennsylvania works to ensure that every child has access to healthcare coverage and that every Pennsylvanian has access to a family doctor or healthcare provider," Corbett said. "It's a Pennsylvania-based plan that is based on common-sense reforms, creates real healthcare choices, reduces government bureaucracy and provides a pathway to independence for all Pennsylvanians."
The plan was endorsed by healthcare leaders such as Dr. C. Richard Schott, a practicing physician from suburban Philadelphia and president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
"The Healthy Pennsylvania plan announced today by Governor Corbett recognizes the need to take positive actions to improve the health of all Pennsylvanians,'' Schott said. "The Pennsylvania Medical Society applauds the governor's plan and looks forward to continue working with him and other stakeholders to improve the health of all Pennsylvanians."
Additional supporters in attendance for the Healthy Pennsylvania launch included the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, Inc., and families from the Harrisburg region.
Corbett's Healthy Pennsylvania plan focuses on improving access, ensuring quality, and providing affordability through the following initiatives:
If the federal government grants Pennsylvania the ability to implement these reforms and achieve significant cost savings, Pennsylvania will work with the federal government to use federal funds and give approximately 520,000 additional low-income Pennsylvanians the ability to enroll in private health insurance plans through the federal health insurance exchange.
"Healthy Pennsylvania provides a path to wellness and care for all Pennsylvanians," Corbett said. "The plan ensures quality, access and affordability in a fiscally responsible framework. We are re-directing funding to better serve those who most need our support.''
"This is a Pennsylvania solution that reforms a broken and financially unsustainable program. Healthy Pennsylvania is grounded in independence for all Pennsylvanians, reducing government bureaucracy by using the private health care market, and creating healthcare choices for consumers. I will not accept Washington's 'one-size-fits-all' approach for Pennsylvania, and I will not expand an entitlement program."
Medicaid costs currently account for 27 percent of the entire general fund budget, with one in six Pennsylvanians on the program.
Allowing access to private coverage, versus an expansion of Medicaid, would be more quickly implemented, require less bureaucracy, offer more provider options, and protect state programs by not putting Pennsylvania at risk if the federal government does not live up to the promise of funding.
While speaking to Corbett at the launch, HAP's President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Carter thanked the governor for his decision to move forward on the health care initiative and said, "We applaud your decision to embrace what hospitals consider the cornerstone of a high performing health system- effective insurance coverage for all Pennsylvanians."
Corbett outlined the Healthy Pennsylvania plan after a tour of the emergency room and Riverview Primary Care at PinnacleHealth's Harrisburg Hospital. During the tour, he learned about the hospital's system to identify and triage patients based on their needs, which helps the organization reduce costs within the emergency room and promote primary care.
"We are pleased with the governor's support of increasing access to integrated, quality care while controlling costs," shared Michael A. Young, president and CEO for PinnacleHealth. "Innovations such as Riverview Primary Care improve the health of Pennsylvanians and reduce costs by providing the right care, from the right provider, at the right time and in the right place."
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Lynn Lawson or Christine Cronkright, 717-783-1116
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