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Officials: Repeal of Medicaid expansion ‘disastrous’ for Pa.

Staff and wire report
  • State officials say more than 670,000 Pa. residents could lose insurance without Medicaid expansion.
  • Elimination of expansion program could also add at least $300 million to state's structural deficit.

State officials are preparing for “disastrous” consequences in Pennsylvania should President Donald Trump repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion program.

In this file photo, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale meets with The York Dispatch editorial board at the Dispatch offices in West Manchester Township on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (Dawn J. Sagert - dsagert@yorkdispatch.com)

Key members of Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration expressed concern on Monday that more than 670,000 Pennsylvanians would lose their health insurance if the provision is eliminated.

Treasurer Joe Torsella said there will be “irreparable harm” if the Medicaid expansion is scaled back, with low-income residents expected to be affected the most.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale warned that rural hospitals would struggle to remain open with the loss of federal funds.

Pennsylvania’s two top financial officers also stated that a repeal would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and negatively impact the state’s already-large budget deficit.

Torsella estimated that the elimination of the Medicaid Expansion Program could cost the state economy $4.5 billion and add at least $300 million to the state's structural budget deficit.

"This would make a tough situation even worse," Torsella said in a news release from DePasquale's office.

The two sent a letter to Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, along with the state's 18 representatives, urging them to keep the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Wolf has proposed a grant to serve as the expansion’s replacement.