What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 29, 2014

Subtle, Very Subtle

By now you should all have learned that Governor Corbett, behind in the polls by double digits and presumably in desperate need of an election year boost, has announced:
...that the state has secured agreement with the federal government to implement the portion of his Healthy Pennsylvania plan that will improve and bring financial stability to the state’s Medicaid program so that the state can increase access to quality, affordable health care through the private insurance market.
In the words of Kate Giammarise at the P-G:
Pennsylvania’s working poor could start receiving subsidized health insurance as early as Jan. 1 now that the federal government has approved the state’s proposed Medicaid overhaul.

Federal regulators approved much of Gov. Tom Corbett’s “;Healthy PA” plan, the state and federal governments confirmed Thursday, ending months of negotiations between the two parties. Enrollment in what’s being called the “Healthy PA Private Coverage Option” will begin Dec. 1.

Mr. Corbett’s plan, unveiled last year and formally submitted to the federal government for review in February, would not directly expand the state’s Medicaid program, but would instead offer federal subsidies to low-income Pennsylvanians to purchase private insurance. As many as 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians could be eligible, according to the state’s latest estimates.
Guv'mint subsidies?  Redistributing the wealth to help the poor?  That's a guv'mint take over of the economy!  Impeach Obama!

Give it time.  Give it time, for surely our friends in the Pennsylvania Tea Party will be screeching that very soon.

Back to reality.  While it's good news that hundreds of thousands of the states poor could be receiving subsidized health insurance soon, not everyone's happy with the deal.

From Pennlive.com:
"Today's agreement begins to dig Pennsylvania out of the hole Governor Corbett and lawmakers created when they rejected funding to expand health care coverage to half-a-million low-income Pennsylvanians. There never should have been a coverage gap in Pennsylvania, and we share the relief of hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians in knowing it's finally on track to close," said Antoinette Kraus, of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, in a news release, referring to the fact that the coverage became available Jan. 1 in states that accepted the Obamacare version.
And from Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress:
"The Obama administration's approval today of 'Healthy Pennsylvania,' Governor Corbett's insurance industry giveaway, will leave thousands of working families without insurance unnecessarily. Because the Corbett administration refused to accept a simple expansion of the medicaid program, thousands in Pennsylvania have gone without insurance they so dearly need, and thousands will still be left out in the cold because the approved deal will create unaffordable premiums.

"There is no reason to give more money to the insurance companies when there was an easy alternative that would have used that money to directly aid the families that need it most -- expanding medicaid as 20+ other states have already done. Instead, the Corbett administration has decided to play politics with the health of thousands of Pennsylvanians in an effort to funnel millions of dollars into the pockets of wealthy insurance companies."
And our friends on the right must surely be unhappy as well. From Alex Nixon and Brad Bumsted of the Trib:
The conservative Commonwealth Foundation commended Corbett for pushing back against Medicaid expansion, but said he should “walk away” from the plan as approved.

“Given the federal government's unwillingness to grant Pennsylvania work search requirements or meaningful cost-sharing, it's in the best interest of Pennsylvanians to walk away and pursue other avenues to truly expand health care access,” the Harrisburg nonprofit said in a statement.
And there's the subtle.  That's the Tribune-Review, remember.  Which, via its editorial page, has denounced Obamacare forever.  Prior to his passing, Richard Mellon Scaife owned the Tribune-Review.  Prior to his passing, Scaife presided over a number of foundations.  Prior to his passing, those foundations gave lots of money to various conservative institutions over the years.

Turns out that about 35% of the foundational support received by the above mentioned Commonwealth Foundation came from those Scaife-controlled foundations - amd there's not a peep out of Nixon and Bumstead about all the money their former boss gave to the conservative institution they were quoting.

Subtle, very subtle.

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