How would changes to the health care system affect Pennsylvania, and what does our state’s current health care landscape look like?
Acting Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller was called upon to provide that expertise in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance during consideration of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal. (It was later announced that there would not be a vote
on that proposal.)
Here are state-specific health care statistics from Miller’s testimony:
- Before the Affordable Care Act, 10 percent of Pennsylvanians and 16 percent
of Americans nationwide went uninsured.
- Since the ACA’s passage, the national uninsured rate has fallen to 8.6 percent;
Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate has dropped to 5.6 percent – the lowest it has ever been.
- More than 40% of Pennsylvanians – 5.4 million people – have pre-existing conditions and cannot be denied health insurance coverage due to the ACA.
- Approximately 4.5 million Pennsylvanians no longer have to worry about large bills due to annual or lifetime limits on benefits, and 6.1 million Pennsylvanians benefit from access to free preventive care services.
- Medicaid serves 2.8 million Pennsylvanians, or 22 percent of the commonwealth’s population. This includes:
- 1.2 million children
- Nearly 250,000 seniors
- 565,000 individuals who receive outpatient mental health services
- 215,000 individuals relying on substance use disorder treatment.
- In 2015, Medicaid paid for more than 58,000 births in the commonwealth – nearly
40 percent of Pennsylvania’s total births.
- The Medicaid expansion of the ACA has resulted in the coverage of more than 715,000 newly eligible Pennsylvanians.