Hello Daily Kos!
Thank you all for such a warm welcome for a newcomer to this fantastic community. I wanted to make sure you were among the first to see my latest ad - “Proud” - on the work I did to help get the Affordable Care Act passed. I couldn’t be more proud to have worked with President Obama on this historic piece of legislation, and as governor, I will work to fully implement the ACA here in Pennsylvania, including expanding Medicaid to the 500,000 Pennsylvanians who are eligible for this health coverage.
The law is working; it has already provided coverage to over 8 million Americans! But when the President says that coverage of millions of others is within our immediate reach, he is right. If it weren’t for governors like Tom Corbett denying their states Medicaid expansion funds, nearly five million more Americans would have the health coverage they need today.
I have spent my entire career working to provide quality, accessible health care to children and families. One of the first pieces of legislation I worked on as a state Senator in Pennsylvania was the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), landmark legislation that served as a model for President Clinton to expand health coverage to millions of children across the nation.
In Congress, I became one of Congress' influential members on healthcare policy. After helping author key provisions of the ACA, I fought alongside President Obama to ensure its passage. I’ve championed provisions to protect children, expand consumer protections, increase access to primary care, and improve benefits for seniors. As founder and co-Chair of the Congressional Healthcare Innovation Task Force, I’ve also worked to ensure that policymakers are looking at ways to improve and modernize our health care delivery system with new technologies, procedures, and payment systems.
As a co-Chair of the Academic Medicine Caucus, I’ve been very vocal about tackling our growing physician shortage head-on. Here in Pennsylvania, we’re in a prime position to lead on this issue with our high concentration of renowned teaching hospitals. So in 2012, I introduced bipartisan legislation to create 15,000 new residency slots over five years – what would be the first increase in nearly 15 years. As governor, I would work with Pennsylvania’s teaching hospitals to set an example for the rest of the nation as we work to meet this challenge and ensure the highest levels of care for every American.
While some Republican governors have chosen to do the right thing by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Tom Corbett has chosen to disadvantage Pennsylvanians by taking a path of politically motivated delays and inaction. Corbett’s stall tactics have denied desperately needed health coverage to more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians. And it has shortchanged the Commonwealth’s economy, which would benefit from the new jobs funded by this expansion.
Expanding Medicaid would add more than 40,000 jobs and $5.1 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy by 2016. This opportunity is too important, too beneficial for political gamesmanship.
Throughout my career, I’ve taken on challenges at critical turning points to help improve healthcare for Pennsylvania families and all Americans. No one is more battle-tested than I am and no one is better prepared to expand access to lifesaving and affordable health coverage and to control costs for Pennsylvania families. These are fights I’ve already faced and won throughout my career in public service.
Pennsylvania is ready for a new leader who will bring the experience to ensure quality, accessible, affordable health coverage and healthcare to Pennsylvania.
My staff will be around for a bit to answer questions, but I hope you’ll take a few moments to watch our latest ad and read a few more details about what I’ll do as your next governor.