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Kauffman, Rock Join Colleagues in Cautioning Against Medicaid Expansion
6/25/2013
HARRISBURG - Reps. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) and Todd Rock (R-Franklin) took part in a press conference today with more than 60 of their House Republican colleagues to discuss Medicaid expansion and what it could mean for the Commonwealth.

The Capitol news conference followed two recent public hearings held by the House Human Services Committee and the House Health Committee in which experts provided conflicting analysis on the impact Medicaid expansion would have on Pennsylvania in terms of cost and delivery of services.

“It is apparent from the various quotes and figures we are receiving as to the cost of the program and level of enrollment that to move ahead with such a plan at this time would be shortsighted and fiscally irresponsible,” said Kauffman. “Medicaid, as it stands now, already claims 27 percent of the entire General Fund, which is a significant amount of taxpayer dollars. Expansion will lead to more of a drain on our already strapped budgets and could lead to an increase in taxes or funding being siphoned from other programs to fund Medicaid services.”

Medicaid expansion is estimated to raise the number of enrollees from the current one in six individuals to one in four, or 25 percent of the population, and cost upward of an additional $5 billion, which could potentially bankrupt the state.

Kauffman and Rock noted that although the federal government is making commitment to help fund the expansion of Medicaid, it is hard to rely on such assurances. As stated by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, during the recent House Health Committee hearing, “When someone who is already $17 trillion in debt promises to pay 90 percent of a hugely expensive new program, you should be very, very skeptical. Neither the states nor the federal government can afford to keep the health care promises we’ve already made, let alone the new ones that have been made in the Affordable Care Act.”

Rock also expressed concern over expanding an already underperforming system. “Medicaid was designed to provide needed care to our most vulnerable citizens, which is an admirable goal; however, many experts agree that within the existing program we are facing serious issues with accountability, access and quality of care,” he said. “That being said, I think we need to look at reforms and efficiencies within the existing Medicaid program before we even think about expanding it.”

Lawmakers noted the federal government has not set a deadline for states to make their decisions regarding expansion of Medicaid.

Representative Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tricia Lehman
717.772.9840
tlehman@pahousegop.com
RepKauffman.com

State Representative Todd Rock
90th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner
Clardner@pahousegop.com
717.260.6443
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