RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID BENEFITS IN PENNSYLVANIA UNDER THE FEDERAL AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a long-standing commitment to preserving and expanding essential benefits for low-income Pennsylvanians, and has previously adopted resolutions regarding proposed state policies governing medical assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (formerly food stamps), mortgage foreclosure assistance, and cash assistance.

WHEREAS, in June, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the federal government cannot penalize states that do not expand their Medicaid programs effective January 1, 2014 to cover certain low-income individuals not currently eligible for Medicaid pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and that states may decide whether or not to expand their Medicaid programs without risk of federal financial penalty.

WHEREAS, there is overwhelming evidence that Pennsylvania will achieve a healthier population and substantial economic benefits by deciding to expand Medicaid; and conversely that Pennsylvania’s uninsured low-income residents as well as the health industry and the Commonwealth’s economy will be adversely affected if Medicaid is not expanded. http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/medicaid-expansion/Pennsylvania.pdf

WHEREAS, the ACA provides that one hundred percent of the expansion of Medicaid would be paid for by the federal government for the first three years, from 2014 through 2016, and at least 90% of the cost would be paid for by federal dollars afterwards, thereby bringing an estimated $38 billion in additional Medicaid funding to Pennsylvania between 2014 and 2022.

WHEREAS, on March 22, 2013 the Council of the City of Philadelphia adopted a Resolution urging the Governor and the General Assembly to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid.

WHEREAS, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania strongly supports the expansion of Medicaid, and warns that the losses of federal funding for the uninsured could harm the Commonwealth’s healthcare system and may even cause some hospitals to close. http://www.haponline.org/downloads/HAP_Facts_About_Medicaid_Expansion_PA_Feb2013.pdf

WHEREAS, many other states have opted to participate in the federal expansion of Medicaid after studying and evaluating the health benefits for their residents and the economic benefits for the states, including Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges the Governor and the General Assembly to take all appropriate actions required in order that Pennsylvania will be able to obtain federal funding to expand Medicaid as of January 1, 2014 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chancellor or her designee be authorized to take whatever action is necessary to effectuate this resolution.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED APRIL 23, 2013