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PCPA Supports Medicaid Expansion
May 9, 2013

PCPA has issued its position in support of Medicaid expansion for persons with income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level in Pennsylvania. PCPA Supports Medicaid Expansion: Inclusion of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Crucialurges the commonwealth to expand Medicaid, noting it:
  • will significantly improve the health status of many Pennsylvanians;
  • is good for the economy, bringing in additional federal resources to Pennsylvania and saving costs to the state; and
  • must include mental health and substance use services.

There has been much discussion about the fiscal benefits of expansion, with 100 percent federal funding for the first three years and decreasing to 90 percent with the commonwealth responsible for 10 percent of ongoing support moving forward. But the moral imperative carries the day. It is the right thing to do to provide access to health care for hundreds of thousands of individuals who would otherwise receive few services. Of these individuals, an estimated 180,000 have serious mental disorders and/or substance use disorders. The services available to this population are often accessed through the emergency department at high acuity and cost. Untreated mental illness and substance use disorders result in increased human and economic costs in health care, human services, education, criminal justice systems, and the business community. These costs should be saved and resources used to provide ongoing preventive services, supports, and early and appropriate treatment to enable individuals to improve and maintain health and mental health status and to work and participate in the community. 

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