Three big-city mayors, including Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, joined in on a conference call to push for their states to expand Medicaid.
Nutter joined the mayors of Atlanta and Milwaukee to urge that the governors of Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin go along with expansion of the program that helps pay for the health care of the needy.
Thousands of Philadelphians will not have health care coverage because of Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision to reject the Medicaid expansion, Nutter said.
“Because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has not expanded Medicaid, more than 90,000 uninsured Philadelphians who are otherwise entitled to health care under the Affordable Care Act will not get that care,” he said.
And that means there will be a domino effect throughout the city.
“People will get needlessly get sick and have to take time off from work,” Nutter said. “Or they won’t be able to take time off, so our economy — locally and statewide — suffers.”
Corbett wants to use the federal Medicaid expansion funds to help people purchase insurance on the open market, but Nutter said it would be simpler to just expand Medicaid.
“It just seems to me that [it’s] the easier and the much more direct approach,” Nutter said. “You’ve heard a bunch of states across America, including those with Republican governors, have just expanded Medicaid. Why take six steps, when you can take probably just about one?”
Corbett has asked the Obama administration for permission to launch his plan for the Medicaid expansion money.