HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – State officials are preparing for “disastrous” consequences in Pennsylvania should President Donald Trump repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Program.
Key members of Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration expressed concern on Monday that more than 670,000 Pennsylvanians would lose their health insurance if the provision is eliminated.
Treasurer Joe Torsella said there will be “irreparable harm” if the Medicaid expansion is scaled back, with low income residents expected to be affected the most.
Gov. Tom Wolf has said the current plan to replace it with a Medicaid block grant program would cut health care for what he describes as the state’s most vulnerable residents. Those residents include children, seniors and those suffering from opioid and heroin addiction.
“There will be devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, mostly rural, working poor if congress eliminates the Medicaid expansion provision of the affordable care act and does not have an adequate replacement,” Pa. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said. “Kicking them out of the health care system now will have dire consequences on the health of those individuals and those families, and will have ripple effects on rural hospitals and the Pennsylvania economy.”
Pennsylvania’s two top financial officers also stated that a repeal would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and negatively impact the state’s already large budget deficit.
Torsella estimated that the elimination of the Medicaid Expansion Program could cost the state economy $4.5 billion.
Wolf has proposed a grant to serve as the expansion’s replacement.
Meanwhile, the Save My Care bus tour made several stops across Pennsylvania on Monday. Organizers said the purpose of the tour is to discuss the impact on local communities if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)