Podcast: Your Two-Minute Look at the Governor's Budget and Medicaid Expansion

PBPC Director Sharon Ward sat down with Triad Strategies to discuss the Governor's 2013-14 budget proposal and the opportunity to expand Medicaid health coverage to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians under the Affordable Care Act. Take two minutes to watch the highlights below.

On the Governor's budget, Sharon said: “Frankly, we think it's a House of Cards. The Governor used a variety of very tenuous funding sources to support a number of initiatives that people think are very important, including additional funding for education, and obviously the transportation funding is very important to people.”

On pensions, she raised concerns about how the savings from proposed pension changes are already spent in the budget on important priorities like intellectual disabilities, pre-kindergarten and child care, even though the pension changes face legislative and legal hurdles.

On the Medicaid expansion, Sharon said: "The Medicaid expansion is too good a deal for Pennsylvania to pass up. … For a very small investment of state dollars, you get a large influx of outside [federal] dollars, which are going to be great for our health care economy as well as our population."

She also offered a note of optimism about the likelihood of the Governor taking this opportunity: "We’ve seen a number of other governors, I think there are eight Republican governors now that have adopted the Medicaid expansion. They’ve done the math; they’ve determined it is a good deal. There is a fair amount of flexibility that is already built into the law so there will be a way to shape this Medicaid expansion to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians."