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NEWS
August 10, 1995 | BY LESTER THOMAS
Three jobs, three layoffs and three mouths to feed. Losing my job made me realize the importance of health insurance and how devastating it is to lose it. I thank God that Medicaid was there to protect my family from utter devastation. I hope Congress does not destroy that protection for other working families who may need it. When, after 17 years on the job, Enclosure Corp. of Bristol closed down in 1990, I felt the world closing in on me. My wife already had been sick and I had just been diagnosed with diabetes.
NEWS
April 3, 2012
SINCE LAST summer, when Gov. Corbett's administration started a massive effort to review whether Medicaid recipients were still eligible for their benefits, thousands of Philadelphia children have vanished from the rolls. Here's a look at the change in child Medicaid enrollments in Philadelphia County from August 2011 through January 2012. August 2011: 273,484. September 2011: 270,648. October 2011: 264,341. November 2011: 261,850. December 2011: 247,968.
BUSINESS
May 7, 1991 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
The state budget crisis is about to hit home for hospitals, doctors and pharmacists. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare yesterday said the agency was short nearly $29 million, because of lagging tax revenues, and, as a result, would be able to pay hospitals, doctors and pharmacies only part of what they are owed in the next Medicaid payment cycle. The department is scheduled to mail checks Friday to health-care providers for services they performed in recent weeks for Medicaid recipients.
NEWS
July 13, 2006
ACOUPLE OF questions for Ed Rendell. (You remember him, don't you? He's the guy you see in Philadelphia during football season.): Ed, do you have any idea how hard it is for middle-class Pennsylvania residents to obtain Medicaid to cover a hospital bill? The leaders of our great state just decided, starting July 1, that U.S. citizens must prove they are such by providing an original birth certificate or passport. That seems fair, right? Don't answer just yet. An illegal alien can get Medicaid to cover a hospital bill with a notarized letter, a letter from the doctor and a copy of the bill.
NEWS
April 29, 2009
RE YOUR editorial "Watchdog Bites Guv": I couldn't agree more that an in-your-face, my-way-or-the-highway approach to auditing isn't helpful or productive. But your reference to the auditor general finding $3.3 million in improper Medicaid health insurance benefits in this multibillion-dollar program is akin to the discovery that a dog recently bit a man. While any degree of error in a public program is regrettable, it is a minuscule part of the total spending. Moreover, the auditors failed to take into account the complexities of the program and the fact that many of the alleged errors are inadvertent bookkeeping errors that have nothing to do with the integrity of the program and may not even have caused any mistaken payment for health care.
NEWS
July 26, 1989 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Commonwealth Court yesterday upheld a ruling by the state Department of Public Welfare denying additional medical-assistance reimbursement to Hahnemann University and Frankford Hospitals in Philadelphia. Senior Judge Jacob Kalish said a new reimbursement system put into place by the department was proper, even though the reimbursements might be "inadequate" or less than actual costs. Jennifer Stiller, a lawyer representing the two hospitals, said the decision would cost Hahnemann and Frankford "in excess of a million dollars.
NEWS
June 22, 2011 | By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama's health-care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist that government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed. The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services Department. After initially downplaying any concern, the Obama administration said late Tuesday that it would look for a fix. Up to three million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly.
NEWS
April 30, 1997 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
A psychiatrist who operated eight inner-city mental health clinics for more than a decade was placed on three years' probation yesterday with three months under house arrest for an admitted $122,000 Medicaid fraud. "I am very sorry for what I have done," Dr. Howard H. Wurtzel, 60, of Lower Merion, told U.S. District Judge Herbert J. Hutton. The lenient sentence came as a relief for the defendant, his family and friends who had praised Wurtzel for being a compassionate, dedicated physician who has helped thousands of patients over the past 34 years.
NEWS
January 19, 1989 | By Bernice Z. Heron, Special to The Inquirer
When the state legislature passed a measure last year to include hospice care in Medicaid benefits starting Jan. 1, it in effect created a new benefit for AIDS patients. Typically, patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are too young for hospice benefits provided under Medicare, are unemployed and do not have private health insurance. But most do qualify for Medicaid, which is available to people who cannot afford medical care. Prior to Jan. 1, Medicaid did not cover hospice care, which is provided for people who are terminally ill. Hospice program administrators say they are hurrying to incorporate the new state provisions into the package of services they already provide for AIDS patients.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
By Barbara W. Gold and Stephen F. Gold Despite an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in April, Pennsylvania still hasn't decided to accept $3.8 billion a year from the federal government to expand Medicaid. The money, promised for each of the next three years, would not only increase health care and services to nearly 650,000 low-income people, but would also provide much-needed jobs. Gov. Corbett has written that the expansion would be "fiscally unsustainable without significant reforms to the program itself.
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NEWS
June 24, 2014
THE AFFORDABLE Care Act has accomplished much: Not only has it given health coverage to millions of Americans who didn't have it, but it provided Republicans with something to galvanize around in their attempts to undermine President Obama. In one respect, the Affordable Care Act has also become a perfect controlled experiment: Almost exactly half the states have accepted a federal expansion of Medicaid as part of ACA, and the other half - all ruled by Republicans - haven't. Medicaid expansion is a feature of the ACA that encourages states to expand enrollment eligibility for Medicaid, and reimburses the states 100 percent of the costs for the first few years, and 90 percent thereafter.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - The Corbett administration on Friday announced the list of insurance companies that had met its qualifications to provide coverage to hundreds of thousands of the uninsured by early 2015. Under Gov. Corbett's proposed Medicaid expansion alternative, nine insurance companies would provide health care to as many as 600,000 low-income residents - most of them the working poor - who make too much for traditional Medicaid but whose employers provide no coverage. "The governor is incredibly pleased with the response," said Jennifer Branstetter, Corbett's secretary of policy and planning.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - A state House committee advanced a bill Wednesday to immediately expand Medicaid eligibility to more than a half-million uninsured Pennsylvanians. The Human Services Committee approved the bill on a 12-11 vote, with three Republicans, including Rep. Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County, supporting expansion. DiGirolamo, the committee chairman, said he believed budgetary pressures could open the door for the bill to pass the House this month, despite opposition from other Republican leaders and Gov. Corbett.
NEWS
May 13, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania's ambitious alternative to expanding Medicaid - a private-market initiative that Gov. Corbett says is designed to save money - would require 723 new state workers, about one percent of the current workforce. The projected number of hires, detailed by state officials, is far higher than most states have needed and surprised some public-policy experts. Many states are adding employees to review applications and confirm eligibility, and to implement all the changes required by federal law. Those new hires typically are in the dozens.
NEWS
April 17, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
WEST CHESTER A West Chester woman convicted of Medicaid fraud and stealing money meant for her 22-year-old autistic daughter was sentenced to 12 years on probation Tuesday and must pay back about $180,000. Michelle Cohen, 52, will have to pay more than $160,000 to the state Department of Public Welfare and $19,400 to the West Chester Area School District, as well as more than $20,000 to the state for the cost of prosecuting her, Judge Jacqueline C. Cody said. Cohen will serve the first six months of her sentence under house arrest and do 250 hours of community service after that.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG Gov. Corbett said Wednesday that he might be nearing a decision on whether to pull the plug on his proposal to offer health insurance for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians. In his strongest statement on the yearlong Medicaid negotiations, Corbett said he was "reaching his breaking point" with the federal government. "We've been negotiating for a year and I am starting to feel like a yo-yo," Corbett told reporters after addressing doctors and health professionals at a state-sponsored public health conference.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin and Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gov. Corbett has backed off his insistence that a work-search requirement be included in any expansion of Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians, lowering a major stumbling block for approval of his proposal. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Corbett suggested turning the work-search requirement into "a voluntary, one-year pilot program to positively encourage those who are able to work" by reducing premiums. Corbett acknowledged in his letter what policy experts have said for months: that the federal government opposes a policy that linked health benefits and job training.
NEWS
March 4, 2014
Months of fine-tuning haven't done much to enhance Gov. Corbett's planned approach to stitching up the health-care safety net for 500,000 low-income Pennsylvanians. It's still risky and shortsighted, and it looks like nothing more than political posturing. Rather than make smart use of billions of federal dollars earmarked under Obamacare to expand Medicaid, Corbett - who with other Republican politicians failed to kill the Affordable Care Act - has sent Washington his formal request to divert those funds to subsidized, private health-insurance plans covering the working poor and others without insurance.
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.) wants the Obama administration to reject Gov. Corbett's proposal to provide health insurance to those newly eligible for Medicaid through private insurers. In a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, Hughes writes that had Pennsylvania expanded its Medicaid rolls, as two dozen other states have, roughly 500,000 people would have had insurance coverage Jan. 1, and the state would have received $400 million in federal subsidies to pay for it. Hughes said the Corbett proposal - which requires recipients to pay premiums and engage in a work search - is "fraught with serious problems" and leaves the working poor with no options for insurance until next year.
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