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Corbett Balks at Health Care Exchanges for Pa.

Pennsylvania will join other GOP-led states putting the Affordable Care Act mandate back in federal hands.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Gov. Corbett announced on Wednesday that Pennsylvania will not be setting up its own healthcare exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The responsibility for the exchange now falls back to the federal government.

Corbett reportedly blamed federal authorities for the move, saying they didn't provide adequate answers to questions about how the exchange will be paid for and other details.

See the pdf section for a letter the governor wrote to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the decision.

"Health care reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning," Corbett said, according to the AP. "Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more. They deserve informed decision making and a strong plan that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars."

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released a statement applauding the governor's move. 

"Obamacare is nothing more than a massive tax that increases healthcare costs and puts the federal government between patients and their doctors, and by refusing to participate in Obamacare’s state-based exchanges, Governor Corbett took an important step today to shield Pennsylvanians from the President’s healthcare debacle," Gleason wrote.

"Tom Corbett believes our healthcare system can be reformed, but expanding government bureaucracy to create a system that forces costs to go up while quality goes down is not the answer. Obamacare is bad policy and bad law, and I applaud Governor Corbett for standing up to the President’s takeover of our healthcare system."

State Sen. Daylin Leach reportedly gave Corbett credit for giving more thoughtful reasons for not participating rather than just standing on partisan politics, but said he'll be watching for how Corbett handles the expansion of Medicaid mandated by the ACA.

The exchanges, which would allow citizens to buy private insurance plans, are supposed to be operational by Jan. 1, 2014. According to the AP, 17 states and Washington D.C. have already agreed to set up their own exchanges while 20 GOP-led states are leaving it to the federal government.

Read more about the healthcare exchanges and Corbett's decision here.

Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Thank you, Dr S. Republicans understand that medical providers have something in common with chimney sweeps, hair-cutters and roofers: no one can force them to provide services. Not even the government can say, "Dr S, you must accept Medicare patients." Contrary to Charlotte's false claims above, GOP candidates including Romney-Ryan would assist the under-uninsured issue by opening up free-market competition across state lines among insurers + eliminate preexisting conditions clauses. Good affordable plans. Free market ambitions! Where would we be without? Still driving horses or Model-T Fords. Every advancement from this nation was the direct result of competition, for individuals' personal gain. The American way. As did Marx - she who believes expanding + trusting government to fill all needs for all citizens misses this most basic human condition. Yes if you are physically incapable of working, for many decades here you were entitled to a basic safety net. Otherwise for want of better services or nicer things - sorry bub, you earned it. US News & World Report Top Docs already went concierge. Mine did in 2004, closed + limited practice. Answers his cell + replies to emails within hours. Meets me in his office on a Sunday if problems arise. We'll grow old together. Check out MDVIP.com. You're a good man wanting to heal and serve people; this comes from your heart. But ultimately you cannot care for yourself or others if not properly compensated. Obamacare=FAIL.
John Q. Public December 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM
America was founded on the principle of equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. Many who avoid early reproduction, and value education & hard work will improve their odds of success. Why does the person who has worked hard all his life, deferred gratification and made sacrifices owe anything to those who don't? Kids who spend their school years getting high and pregnant are going to have a difficult time in life. It sounds harsh, but that outcome is needed to motivate most people.
maria vandervliet December 14, 2012 at 02:24 PM
how does a conversation about healthcare reform focus so much on entitlements? do any of you realize this has virtually nothing to do with free anything? wanting the ability to purchase affordable healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with your personal work ethic or income level. There are people at all levels of income that need this reform, my husband and I are small business owners, we wouldn't qualify for any "handouts" but we are a business of 2 people so we also don't qualify for employer insurance. My husband is diabetic, and as we run our business and have to purchase insurance privately, there is currently nothing requiring insurance companies to provide him coverage. it isn't a matter of discounts, its not even about the pcp doctor visits, those are simple, what isn't simple is the knowledge that if something serious were to happen, if he were in an accident of some sort, or god forbid got cancer, we have absolutely no protection. For a plan that isn't even in place yet, there is an awful lot of "negative impact" and it all comes from fear of the unknown. Change is necessary, we are the ONLY industrialized nation that does not have a healthcare system in place. Basic healthcare is a human right, this isn't a smart phone or a flat screen tv (sadly i imagine both those items are more prevalent in our society than decent healthcare) open your eyes, and educate yourself before you spew crap that you know nothing about.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Your example Maria is eloquently (if not rudely) stated. Neither political party and no candidate to my knowledge, and I follow it closely, ever denied there is a problem. It is a mistake comparing the US healthcare system to other countries, unless you'd like to include Greece, Spain, Russia, and other abject economic system failures. Yes there is a problem. Affordable Healthcare Acts are not the correct solution for THIS, OUR country. Foisting 3.8% surtaxes on small businesses does not magically create enough doctors to suddenly care for 30 million uninsured people. Robbing $800 billion from Medicare does not get our moms in to see specialists who are today, right now, denying Medicare patients. There is a workable solution. Obamacare isn't it. Which you and everyone else is or will soon learn the hard way. Spew all the gut-wrenching feelings you want. Health care is a business, and business decisions are not made based on emotion, nor does a bleeding heart make payroll or educate doctors or pay medical malpractice insurance bills.
patrick December 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM
John Q, Corbett just insured more unaccountable fraud with the security commision. Way to shoot pennsylvanians in the foot. Republican=stupid
Tim Lewis December 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Maria, exactly what about Obamacare makes you think it is about affordability? Please educate yourself before you come across as uninformed.
patrick December 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Jack, wrong again. The greatest accomplishments of this country were govt programs. Computers, medicine, military weapons. Stop the pub talking points and use your head. You know, the thing that holds your hat.
patrick December 14, 2012 at 02:59 PM
PS. as a republican, you should love obamacare. We got the idea from the cato institute. Republican=stupid
patrick December 14, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Jack, you lie about the the 800 billion from medicare, you lie about the 3.8% to small bussiness, and you misrepresent your analogy between the US and Europe. Way to help the discussion. Republican=liars
maria vandervliet December 14, 2012 at 03:05 PM
lets see, maybe the fact that i actually received a refund check in the mail from my insurance company because they did not meet the new criteria for percentage of premiums actually spent on patients. Oh, and my insurance premium actually went down this year.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/10/02/the-ratio-of-obamacares-medicare-cuts-to-new-benefits-is-fifteen-to-one/ Patrick, anything else to add?
patrick December 14, 2012 at 03:28 PM
First, the use of an ultra-rightwing outlet as your "source" is laughable. This is the same source that had Robme winning by 6% points over Obama. Secondly, most of these claims have been proven false. Obamacare is our best effort to streamline healthcare to provide health care, at lower cost, to the consumer. The CBO(a neutral referee) estimates that it will save taxpayers 1.2 trillion over 10 years. How's that for curbing spending. Pretty good, huh.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Your spin, Patrick, does not alter the reality that in every state, swelling percentages of doctors are no longer accepting Medicare patients, nor do your false claims negate Dr. S's post above. Believe in fairy tales, keep blogging and spinning, go ahead, get the last word. And hope the older folks you care about don't get too sick.
socialist December 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
What amuses me the most about the GOP is the selfishness that you all have. The party boasts "Christian Values", "family morals", etc., yet when it comes to things like healthcare you all sound hypocritical. Why should we work hard for others? I work for me, etc. Doesn't sound like the Christian way to me. I don't mind paying more for others who have less. God forbid, if I were to lose everything, I know I'd be cared for too. The concept of Obamacare is to give everyone a fair shot at getting affordable healthcare. Sure the majority of us in this area may be able to afford healthcare, but believe me, I work in the inner-city and there are a lot of people who do try very hard to make ends meet. Majority of these people can't afford healthcare. There are a lot of people stuck and trying very hard to get out.
socialist December 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
So john q. Who worked hard all his life deferring gratification and owes nothing to those who don't, what about those who work 10 hours and volunteer at their churches for another four everyday. All the while, still unable to afford decent healthcare and get their family out of a bad place. The GOP is terrified of the word "taxes". They hate Obamacare because of the forced "tax" you pay if you opt out. That "tax" was called a "fine" when Romney came up with Obamacare. Now we sit here and watch the republicans fight continued tax breaks on those making $200,000+. If I made that I'd be fine doing the "Christian thing" and paying more in taxes. If I'm making $85,000 and someone is making $30,000 I'm fine with increasing my taxes too to help those less fortunate. God forbid we all look out for each other.
patrick December 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Tim, you of all people, are going to criticize someone else for being misinformed. That's the pot calling the kettle black.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM
@ Socialist: members of both parties share a common interest in providing healthcare to all in need. The dramatic difference is the business of achieving it. You are quite emotional, and wrong. PS - Jesus supported himself as a carpenter and paid taxes to Caesar while giving out free healing to all who asked.
socialist December 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I forget that Romney had a "new healthcare plan". Which had the same promises as Obamacare without the taxes. Unfortunately, he never did lay out that plan on where the money would come from or how it would work. The one thing I do like about Romney is he did do a good job in creating Obamacare. As for Jesus, I strongly agree. He clearly was a Liberal.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Then under Obamacare all you must do is convince tens of thousands more smart people to enroll and pay for medical school, and convince them that at the end of that horrendous journey, after serving no-sleep low-paid residencies for years, they'll get to pay upwards of $175,000 per year per doctor in malpractice insurance, then join practices that accept anyone and everyone regardless of what The People's Insurance Plan compensates the doctors. Watch what happens now. Competent docs migrating to Concierge, closing their practices and refusing to accept The People's Insurance Plans. Pay out-of-pocket. You thought the gulf between the Haves and Have Nots was wide before Obamacare. Health care is like any other business. And what happens when government squeezes business owners? Pass it down. Everybody loses. But please, keep defending it. Still a free country. For awhile.
Charlotte December 14, 2012 at 05:55 PM
So Jack in a way what you are saying is a nurse becomes a nurse to help others but a doctor only becomes a doctor to make money and will bail if he doesn't make a certain amount from each patient. interesting. Obama's original plan was based on what the Heritage foundation suggested and was supported GOP in the late 1990's. He used Romney's healthcare success as a guide. If you recall back in 2008 ( the goal was Obama to fail no matter what with no regard to what was or is best for the US as a country ) lies came out about death panels et... and the plan itself was watered down to where it is now to please the GOP.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 06:12 PM
LOL, the Heritage Foundation. If you'll recall, in 2008 there was no Obamacare. If you'll recall, Democrats controlled two of three branches of Federal government when they rammed through these two acts without a single nod of support from any conservative members of the House or Senate, Pelosi saying "We must pass it to find out what's in it." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE1R-xH5To Making up "facts" as you go does not alter the actual facts, Charlotte. Nor does it help solve the problem.
Norristown Tall Cedars December 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Charlotte, did your friend check to see if she could get the CHIP program for her daughter? She should call or write to her local Rep. It is for chlidren only.
Charlotte December 14, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Jack, I think maybe you should do some research before you open your mouth. Have a great weekend : ) ....How the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative Think Tank, Promoted the Individual Mandate: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/10/20/how-a-conservative-think-tank-invented-the-individual-mandate/ US History An individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care. From its inception, the idea of an individual mandate was championed by Republican politicians as a free-market approach to health-care reform.[2][3] The individual mandate was felt to resonate with conservative principles of individual responsibility, and conservative groups recognized that the healthcare market was unique. Stuart Butler, an early supporter of the individual mandate at the Heritage Foundation, wrote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance_mandate http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/02/07/the-tortuous-conservative-history-of-the-individual-mandate/
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I don't recall ever going to the polls and voting for Heritage Foundation for US Congress. Heritage Foundation isn't the boss of me. It generates air. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll887.xml bi-partisan support? No. I like how you ignored Pelosi and the substance, and facts. Anyone truly interested in learning about the two Acts which comprise "Obamacare" may find this Congressman's links and website useful. He is an M.D. and one of the first to read, digest, and publicly speak out against these Acts, distilling down into language we can all understand what effects they would have, and what is the viable alternative. http://fleming.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=8486 "We can improve our health care system by putting patients in charge of their own health care, through health savings accounts and other forms of tax-deductible savings programs. Insurance premiums can become more affordable for everyone by allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and encouraging, but not requiring, young healthy individuals to purchase health insurance. Programs that expand choices in Medicare, such as Medicare Advantage, should be strengthened, so that seniors can choose the benefits packages that best suit their needs. There is no doubt about it; health care in America must be improved. The answer, however, is not an intrusive and expensive government administered health care plan for Americans." He is so right.
1 December 14, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Give it up Minster....NOBODY is buying your nonsense. This is the same guy that predicted a "Romney landslide" and used fake polls to "prove" his points. I saw he had something in the Mercury the other day saying "if all the suburb districts "only got 5,500 more people to come to the polls and vote Republican, Romney would have won PA"! What he doesn't realize is these people DON'T EXSIST! The MAJORITY of people are moderates who don't support a racist party for of NRA gun toters who care more about guns and an invisible man they worship than actual human beings! Hit the road Jack!
Joseph Finnick December 14, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Bi-partisan can mean that people of both parties support(ed) it. The Republican Party is represented here by the heavily right leaning Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich (don't forget about him!). Putting patients in charge of their own health care would be disastrous as certainly many people wouldn't these accounts and other programs well and would therefore be in a terrible situation where they wouldn't have enough money left for their health care. When people don't purchase insurance and must use the hospital, the money gets charged to everyone else (in an indirect fashion) so those without health insurance therefore cause an indirect increase in everyone else's insurance. How has Obamacare been intrusive? You still choose your own plans and maintain the same relationship with your doctor. How is the government administering any sort of health care plan? They are really just imposing more regulations on the health insurance industry, which is very different from a government administered plan. For all of the problems with Obamacare, at least criticize what is actually in the act.
Jack Minster December 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
What you described Joseph was the way things worked before Obamacare's passage. What is happening since is summarized in a 100% accurate timeline presented by Rep. Fleming: http://fleming.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hc_timeline.pdf The issue is up in this thread, starting with Dr. S's post. He's now facing the wall. Many doctors have already stopped accepting Medicare patients and various insurance plans. Can't make this stuff up. Google a little or better yet interface with more doctors, ask them. Bottom line, no one can force anyone else to work, or accept $X dollars for services. You say I still maintain my own plan (meaning insurance). True. Premiums doubled as soon as Obama got elected in '08, and deductibles increased. You say I still maintain the same relationship with my doctor: not true. I now must pay $2K cash out-of-pocket to remain in his practice. It's called Concierge Medicine. I get newsletters from MDVIP adding dozens of new docs each edition. Spreading like crazy. Cause-effect. I feel like I'm repeating myself, so go ahead and get the last word.
Joseph Finnick December 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Why does changing the label of something somehow make it worse? I have talked to my doctor. He has no problem accepting any insurance. Premiums did not double for everyone. Mine went up $10 and my deductibles have actually went down. I feel for you that your doctor went to concierge medicine. Mine didn't and I have the exact same relationship with him. That wasn't brought on by Obamacare. It was more brought on because concierge is more profitable to the doctors while allowing them to see less patients. This is the idea that the doctors are "the best" so people are willing to pay more money and do it out of pocket for them. I fail to see the connection between this ultra privatization model and Obamacare.
Joseph Finnick December 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Also, that timeline was provided by the Heritage Foundation and is extremely biased, playing very loosely with the facts.
Tim Lewis December 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Why are Democrats so mean-spirited and intolerant?

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