HARRISBURG, Pa., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Treasurer Joe Torsella today issued the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation today that guts health care protections for millions of Americans:
Statement of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale:
"I am extremely dismayed with the provision in this bill that would cut $880 million nationally from the Medicaid bill that provides health care for low-income people and nursing home care for older Americans and persons with disabilities. In Pennsylvania alone, these changes could have catastrophic effects on the health care for hundreds of thousands of our residents, and push our growing structural budget deficit to cosmic levels.
"While House Republicans are high-fiving each other this afternoon, millions of seniors and people with pre-existing conditions now live with the real fear of skyrocketing health insurance rates.
"I urge the U.S. Senate to outright reject this mean-spirited and irresponsible legislation. Clearly, Obamacare needs some major surgery, but this poorly-thought-out bill is certainly not the answer."
Statement of Treasurer Joe Torsella:
"As Treasurer, I am deeply disturbed that the House of Representatives just voted to take away desperately needed care for our working families. More than 675,000 of primarily rural, working poor Pennsylvanians have benefitted from the Medicaid expansion this bill would undo. These are children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. They are our family, friends and neighbors, and the elimination of the Medicaid expansion provision has individual consequences that are beyond measure as recipients will no longer have health coverage.
"Congress has an obligation to serve the people they represent. Today's vote on the American Health Care Act disregards that solemn responsibility, and disregards the devastating impacts they have now imposed on the people they serve. To add insult to injury, Congress did so without a revised score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which would have detailed the effects of any action taken.
"This vote further darkens the picture for Pennsylvania's fiscal future as we continue to face growing structural deficits. Pennsylvania will lose $3 billion in direct federal health reimbursements which will be compounded by the reduction in economic activity. The American Health Care Act represents a shameful attack on working class families, and I urge the Senate to stop this bill in its tracks."
Media contacts: Susan Woods (Auditor General), 717-787-1381, 717-395-6077 (cell)
Heidi Havens (Treasury), (717) 787-2991 or email@example.com
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Treasury Department