Home > Health, Politics > UnNightly News: 41,000 Pennsylvanians Stripped of Health Insurance

UnNightly News: 41,000 Pennsylvanians Stripped of Health Insurance

March 2, 2011

Basically this is what the Governor is saying: The government (meaning the institution run by public servants) cannot afford to insure its own citizens. Anybody starting to feel the outrage yet?

NY Times reports: 41,467 other Pennsylvanians who had been covered by adultBasic, a state-subsidized insurance program for the working poor that Gov. Tom Corbett shut down on Monday in one of the largest disenrollments in recent memory.

Mr. Corbett, a Republican elected in November, has said the program he inherited is not sustainable with Pennsylvania facing a $4 billion budget shortfall. He blames his predecessor, Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat, for not keeping the plan solvent. His administration notified beneficiaries in late January that their coverage would expire Feb. 28.

For Mr. Kewley, 57, an abstract artist in this gritty town in the Lehigh Valley, it meant the end of the coverage that made possible an aortic valve replacement last May. While the life-saving procedure cost about $85,000, he said he had paid only $915 out of pocket.

The state has pointed Mr. Kewley toward other options, but the coverage would be less comprehensive and the premiums far higher than the $36 he had been paying each month. Now any minor symptom, like a mild pinch in his chest, prompts a devil’s calculation about whether he can afford to have it checked.

When he noticed such discomfort on Tuesday morning, he broke into a cold sweat, felt his stomach tightening and experienced “a sense of impending doom,” he said. For the moment, Mr. Kewley is trying to convince himself it is just a pulled muscle.

“It’s a worry, and it’s draining,” he said, seated in the home studio where he applies bold acrylics to landscapes of the sloping hillsides nearby. “It’s always present in my mind so it’s hard to come up here and do my work.”

Pennsylvania is one of several destitute states seeking to help balance budgets by removing adults from government health insurance programs.

250,000 More Will Be Affected in Arizona:

Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat, recently removed 17,500 adults covered under Basic Health, a state-financed plan for the working poor. In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, proposes to remove up to 250,000 childless adults who have been insured by her state’s Medicaid program under a decade-long agreement with the federal government.

Medicaid, which is financed jointly by state and federal governments, primarily covers low-income children, parents and the disabled. Most states do not now offer coverage to childless adults, but starting in 2014, the new federal health care law will require them to expand Medicaid to insure adults earning up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

Entire article, click here

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