On Sunday, the State Senate came together in an overwhelming bi-partisan vote to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania under the authority of the Affordable Care Act. This move would have provided health coverage to over half a million Pennsylvanians, and would have saved the Commonwealth over $250 million per year, while injecting $3 billion in new annual economic activity for the State.
Yesterday, however, the House Rules Committee, chaired by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, voted along party lines to strip the Medicaid expansion out of the welfare code.
The move to kill Medicaid expansion was supported by all Republican members of the Committee – William Adolph, Matthew Baker, Jim Christiana, Brian Ellis, Mauree Gingrich, Robert Godshall, Seth Grove, Dick Hess, Thomas Killion, Ron Marsico, Tina Pickett, Mike Reese, Stan Saylor, Mario Scavello, Sam Smith, and Katharine Watson.
This expansion would have primarily benefited working families who can’t afford to purchase health insurance and who are not covered by their employers.
Representative DiGirolamo (R-Bucks), led an impassioned effort to undo the actions of Turzai and the Rules Committee, by moving to reject their amendments that removed Medicaid expansion. After a short floor debate, the effort failed 108-94. While the entire House Democratic caucus stood with Rep. DiGirolamo, Representative John Taylor was the only other Republican to join his colleague in standing up for Pennsylvania’s citizens.