House delays AdultBasic vote

    Supporters say expanding AdultBasic is a smart way to leverage federal dollars.

    Supporters say expanding AdultBasic is a smart way to leverage federal dollars.

    Listen:

    [audio:090615sdhb1.mp3]

    A final vote was scheduled for Monday afternoon on a bill to expand Pennsylvania’s AdultBasic health insurance program by 85,000 people. But several Democratic lawmakers weren’t at the Capitol, so party leaders pulled House Bill 1 from the agenda. Democrats hold a slim majority in the chamber, and the vote is expected to fall along party lines.

    Republican whip Mike Turzai, of Allegheny County, says he’s concerned about relying on federal funds when Congress is debating major overhauls to the national health care system.

    Turzai:
    I think the key really is that we need to make sure that AdultBasic as it presently exists is healthy, that it’s helping people as best it can. And we shouldn’t be really putting people in jeopardy by trying to federalize this program.

    Matching federal funds would pay for a portion of the expansion the bill authorizes. Additional revenue would come from Pennsylvania’s medical malpractice fund, and an increased tax on health insurance companies.

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