Gov. Wolf Touts Accessible Health Care in Pennsylvania in Celebration of ACA Anniversary
March 23, 2022
Governor Tom Wolf touted the accessibility of health care in Pennsylvania in celebration of the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.
“The ACA significantly changed an individual’s access to health insurance across the country and specifically here in Pennsylvania. The anniversary of the ACA is a time we can reflect on the great strides we’ve made in the commonwealth to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Gov. Wolf. “The progress we have made due to the ACA has been remarkable as we’ve seen the lowest uninsured rate in Pennsylvania history realized by Medicaid expansion and the creation of the commonwealth’s very own health insurance marketplace, Pennie. Our low uninsured rate means that Pennsylvanians aren’t having to choose between getting the health care they deserve and putting food on their tables. I am proud of the work my administration has done to make that a reality.”
Shortly after taking office in February 2015, Gov. Wolf expanded Medical Assistance eligibility requirements in Pennsylvania ensuring access to affordable, straightforward, accessible health care for more Pennsylvanians in need. Approximately 3.3 million people are covered through Medical Assistance in Pennsylvania, with 1 million individuals enrolled because of the expansion.
“Good physical and mental health and wellbeing is essential to so much in life, and the ability to access care and services must not be a privilege. The Affordable Care Act made it possible for more than a million people across Pennsylvania to access this most essential need – something even more critical through the public health crisis,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “Without this historic law, they may have gone without any coverage or care. It is impossible to measure the collective positive impact of the ACA’s legacy, and we must continue to build off this progress and invest in basic health and quality of life for all people, no matter their circumstance.”
“The essential health benefits guaranteed through the ACA, including preventative and ambulatory services, hospital care, prescription drug coverage, maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and others, have most certainly had a positive impact on the well-being of Pennsylvania families,” said Acting Insurance Commissioner Mike Humphreys. “Pennsylvanians now have greater access to comprehensive coverage without having to worry about whether a preexisting condition would limit coverage opportunities. The ACA has helped millions of Americans gain insurance coverage, saved thousands of lives, and strengthened the health care system, and we’re better off for it.”
In addition to Medicaid expansion, in July 2019 Gov. Wolf signed legislation establishing the state-based marketplace known as Pennie. Pennie replaced healthcare.gov as Pennsylvania’s official destination for shopping for quality health insurance plans and the only source for financial assistance to help with the cost of coverage and care. Pennie currently provides health insurance to nearly 375,000 Pennsylvanians enrolled in the marketplace, with almost 90 percent of Pennie customers receiving financial assistance.
“The Affordable Care Act has made access to affordable, quality health coverage a reality for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. Strengthened by the American Rescue Plan, the ACA provides stability, peace of mind and an environment in which Americans don’t have to depend on their jobs for health insurance,” said Pennie Executive Director Zachary W. Sherman. “The ACA’s consumer protections, comprehensive benefits and financial assistance deliver a healthier and more stable future for millions of families across the Commonwealth and country.”