The Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) has taken its fight to the Capitol to show lawmakers what is “on the line” if they choose not to expand Pennsylvania’s Medicaid.
CHC Director of Advocacy and Consumer Engagement Reverend Sally Jo Snyder said expansion is a life or death decision.
“It’s about the lives on the line, and we are going again in our ongoing advocacy efforts to rally in Harrisburg to remind the governor that at the heart of our efforts are these lives on the line, the thousands of people around the commonwealth who are going to benefit from us saying ‘yes’ and expanding Medicaid,” Snyder said.
As of the end of May 26 states have decided to participate.
CHC supporters will rally on the back steps of the Capitol Wednesday and visit several representatives and senators to promote the expansion.
Snyder said people will be sharing their personal stories about how their lives are ‘on the line’ at this rally.
“These people who work hard, they fix our cars, they fix our nails, they fix our hair, they take care of our aging parents, they’re attendant care workers, and they fix a lot of things and they’re in a fix to be blunt, and we have the opportunity to fix that by saying yes to Medicaid expansion and being able to cover these hard working Pennsylvanians,” Snyder said.
The CHC has collected hundreds of photos and stories of people who need the expansion and will hang them up on clotheslines in Harrisburg.
Gov. Tom Corbett is not a supporter of the Medicaid expansion because he believes it will cost the state in the long run.
Snyder said she thinks people will do whatever is necessary to get the expansion, even if it means paying more taxes.
“People will be able to have healthcare coverage, be able to get preventative care, be able to continue to stay healthy and involved in the workforce. I mean that economic benefit far outweighs any sort of thing that we’re going to pay,” Snyder said.
As the June 30 deadline to pass a final state budget draws nearer, Snyder said she is confident that the CHC will hear the answer it wants.
“I honestly think when you look at an abundance of proof and evidence as to how this is a win economically, a win, clearly, with the health and wellness of folks, a win with who we are as Pennsylvanians, what our character is. To me, ultimately, I do think that we’re going to have that yes to Medicaid expansion and we’re committed to see this through,” Snyder said.