Health - November 15, 2013

Vote on transportation funding expected next week

The legislature is expected to vote on a transportation funding package sometime next week.  The $2.3 billion plan will fix roads and bridges and cement funding for mass transit.  The plan comes after months of negotiations from all sides with the Governor pushing for a plan before the end of the year.  Republican House leaders feel it is time to bring the issue to the House floor whether or not they’ve secured enough votes to pass it; Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi shares that sentiment.  His spokesperson, Erik Arneson said the Senator believes “it’s time to bring this to a head” and that it’s time to move on to other issues.  Steve Miskin, a House Republican spokesperson, said that if the transportation issue doesn’t come up for a vote next week, they don’t expect it to come up at all for the rest of the year. 


President calls for reversal of health insurance policy cancellations

On Thursday President Obama called for states to allow insurers to reverse cancellation notices that policy holders received after the federal health care law went into effect.  Pennsylvania insurers have yet to say whether they will reverse any cancellations.  The PA Department of Insurance said it was still reviewing the notice from the federal government.  Governor Tom Corbett wrote to the President on Thursday to ask him to support legislation to allow Pennsylvanians to keep their current policies and “to allow federal subsidies for insurance policies that meet the law’s standards and are sold outside of the marketplaces created by the law.”  Capital Blue Cross said that it was too soon for them to say anything about what the next steps will be and that the Insurance Department was reaching out to the insurers to ensure that people have coverage they can afford.   The Department also raised the number of people they estimated had their policies cancelled; about 250,000 people had their policy cancelled and that number is expected to grow. 


Legislators not seeking re-election in 2014:

  • Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)
  • Sen. Mike Waugh (R-York)
  • Sen. Edwin Erickson (R-Delaware)
  • Rep. Jerry Stern (R-Blair)
  • Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny)