Harrisburg Field Hearing Further Reveals Harmful Impacts of Health Care Law Upon Pennsylvania

Mar 23, 2011 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, D.C. – Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) today joined the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for a field hearing to review the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform law passed in March of 2010, and its impact on the Commonwealth.   

Thompson is a former therapist and licensed nursing home administrator, and has spent 28 years in the health care industry.  He participated in the hearing, “PPACA in Pennsylvania: One Year of Broken Promises,” at the request of Representative Joe Pitts (PA-16), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.

As governors and state legislatures across the country deal with implementing PPACA’s requirements, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett offered introductory remarks before the Subcommittee.  Department of Public Welfare Acting Secretary Gary Alexander and Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine were among others who delivered testimony at the hearing.  

Statement from Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5):

“Health care reform must be based on improving accessibility and affordability while preserving choice and quality, however, this law is failing across the board.  As we meet the one year anniversary of President Obama’s signature initiative, my worst nightmares have become a reality as the law’s implementation continues to drive up costs, saddle small businesses with burdensome regulations, and imposes unfunded mandates on the Commonwealth, by shifting costs from the federal government to the states. Today’s hearing serves as yet another reminder that we must replace this flawed law with commonsense reforms that decrease costs, increase access, and ensure America remains the place for quality and innovation in health care delivery.”

Statement from Representative Joe Pitts (PA-16):

“On the one year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being signed into law, we are here to examine the effects that the law will have, and is already having, on states. And, we will hear how various provisions in the law are burdening businesses and employers, precisely at a time when we need them to be hiring new employees and creating jobs.”

Statement from Department of Public Welfare Acting Secretary Gary Alexander:

“Pennsylvania’s Medicaid rolls, already heading towards a cliff of fiscal instability, will clearly plunge over the edge if federal regulations are not eased. And that includes putting the brakes on this healthcare reform law…Public welfare reform presents us with a great opportunity to use the resources within our commonwealth to transform the structure and operations of the public health system without needless federal intervention and with the best interests of Pennsylvanians in mind, instead of being distracted by the interest of federal bureaucrats...”

Statement from Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine:

“Compliance with ACA required Pennsylvania to develop new systems and procedures – all with an associated cost to the state – to ensure compliance. And it was also at this point in our journey that we first saw troubling signs for the road ahead. While from a consumer perspective there are additional benefits as a result of these reforms, these ACA‐mandated coverage changes resulted in premium increases of up to 9 percent – this on top of already significant premium increases being seen by Pennsylvania businesses and consumers. Therefore, it is important to stress that the initial reforms have caused an increase in premiums and not a decrease…”

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