Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) Calls Pregnant Women and Breast Cancer Patients Healthcare Moochers
5:30 pm, July 10th | by Grace Rasmus
Pennsylvania Republicans have officially decided against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, arguing that covering more low-income residents would cost the state too much money. Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) took the debate a step further, saying that residents who are already enrolled in the program — including pregnant women and breast cancer patients — are receiving too much free care and should pay into the system.
“What I hear all the time coming out of the administration in Washington is that it’s the working poor [who benefit from Medicaid],” Corbett told WTAE, a Pennsylvania local ABC affiliate, on Saturday. “Yes it is working, but you should be investing five, ten dollars in co-pay to understand that you go to to the hospital or the doctors, you just can’t keep going and going and going and think everything is going to be covered. You have to know that you have some interest in what’s going on.”
The state’s Department of Public Welfare website addresses copayment information, saying that while children, pregnant women, and breast cancer patients don’t pay the fees, many beneficiaries do contribute for the services they receive. Corbett seems to be suggesting that the exempt enrollees are abusing the free services and that everyone should pay more for health care.
While a $5 or $10 copay might not seem like a big deal to a person like Corbett (who probably gets a stellar healthcare plan himself on citizen’s tax dollars), to those currently benefiting from Medicaid, a few dollars could be the difference between eating and not eating that day. Just because some may abuse the system — and I agree that there is a tendency to over-medicalize things these days — doesn’t mean that everyone does and everyone deserves to be punished.