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House Human Services Committee Acts on Co-pay
October 2, 2012

On October 1 the Human Service Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Resolution 879, introduced by Rep. Gene DiGirolamo in a nearly unanimous vote. This resolution directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a study of the impact of the Department of Public Welfare’s Medicaid (MA) PH 95 copayment initiative on families, physical and behavioral health care providers, and the larger MA delivery system. The resolution states “the department is strongly urged to refrain from implementing the policy until after the study is complete.” The resolution also calls for the LBFC to “ascertain whether there are other strategies that can be used to realize significant savings for the state budget in the way of cost-sharing for these families without disrupting services for their children with disabilities.” Rep. DiGirolamo will now work to move the resolution to a vote by the full House of Representatives.

During the committee’s discussion many members reported on the growing number of phone calls and emails received from families across the commonwealth sharing concerns and detail about the likely impact of the co-payment on their children and family. Committee members also reported on their desire to meet with leaders of the Department of Public Welfare and the governor’s office to discuss the current design of the co-payment initiative and its impact and unintended consequences on families and the service delivery system. PCPA was pleased to work closely with Chairman DiGirolamo, his staff, and several members of the committee in providing information. A copy of HR879 is available.

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