On November 19th, Fight for Philly members boarded a bus to Harrisburg to present Governor Tom Corbett with the “Turkey of the Year” award. The governor has refused to accept Medicaid expansion for thousands of working PA families, leaving them without healthcare. Along with allies from SEIU Healthcare, One Pittsburgh, and others, Fight for Philly marched to the Governor’s Mansion to protest this shameful decision and let the governor know he’s being a big turkey.
Despite guaranteed funding from the federal government, Gov. Corbett has refused to follow the lead of many Democratic governors and even some of his Republican counterparts and expand Medicaid coverage. Medicaid expansion would extend health insurance to over 400,000 Pennsylvanians who currently lack care. Governor Corbett still has the power to help uninsured Pennsylvanians get access to the care they need by January 1st by accepting federal Medicaid expansion funding.
Medicaid expansion advocates – some in wheelchairs and walkers – marched to the Governor’s Mansion and called on him to expand Medicaid. Outside of the mansion’s giant iron fence, activists chanted for expansion as healthcare providers and people without insurance told their stories. Anthony, a former nurse, recently sold his house to pay for hospital bills. He explained he suffered a heart attack and then lost his healthcare. Thousands of folks like Anthony, who lack insurance through no faults of their own, would be helped by Medicaid expansion. But the heart-wrenching stories didn’t stop there. A resident from Pittsburgh said if Governor Corbett accepted Medicaid expansion, he could finally have the surgery to repair his damaged knee and live without pain. After the rally, activists presented the governor with the “Turkey Award” and demanded he stop being a turkey and expand Medicaid.
Aside from helping hundreds of thousands of people, Medicaid expansion is a no-brainer for our state’s economy. Expanding Medicaid will put more people to work in Pennsylvania, creating 35,000 good-paying jobs. Extending Medicaid will save taxpayers $522 million in 2015 and bring billions of dollars into the state. The January 1st deadline to expand Medicaid is quickly approaching. If Governor Corbett does not follow through, hundreds of thousands of working families will be left without coverage for another year, and the state will lose billions of dollars that could help boost our economy.
Spread the word about Medicaid Expansion here!