Governor Wolf Continues Push to Vote “No” on Hurtful AHCA as House Debate Continues March 24, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Healthcare, Latest News, National Issues, Press Release, Public Health Harrisburg, PA – As U.S. House members continue to debate the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in Washington D.C., Governor Wolf is reiterating his strong opposition to the bill in a letter to the Pennsylvania delegation, again urging them to vote no and stressing that the amendments that remove essential health benefits will have devastating effects on millions of Pennsylvanians.“The original text of the AHCA, if put into practice, would have devastating consequences for Pennsylvanians and our economy,” Governor Wolf said in a letter to delegates. “But recent amendments have made a bad situation worse.“Essential health benefits, which the Affordable Care Act guaranteed so insurance companies had to at least establish a baseline for “minimum” coverage, have been removed. That means that prescription drugs, maternity benefits and newborn care, emergency services, and mental health care, among others, will no longer be required elements of health coverage.”Governor Wolf has made protecting care for millions of Pennsylvanians, who could see their coverage eliminated or diminished by the AHCA, a top priority. The AHCA would also have wide-ranging negative impacts on Pennsylvania’s economy by increasing costs for older and vulnerable residents and sharply increasing the amount of uncompensated care provided by already struggling small and rural hospitals.Read the full text of the letter below:Dear Congressman,Thank you for your continued engagement this week as you consider the American Health Care Act (AHCA). As you prepare to debate and vote on the AHCA on the House Floor today, I wanted to take one last opportunity to urge you to vote no.The original text of the AHCA, if put into practice, would have devastating consequences for Pennsylvanians and our economy. But recent amendments have made a bad situation worse. Essential health benefits, which the Affordable Care Act guaranteed so insurance companies had to at least establish a baseline for “minimum” coverage, have been removed. That means that prescription drugs, maternity benefits and newborn care, emergency services, and mental health care, among others, will no longer be required elements of health coverage. Decisions about essential health benefits would be left up to states but significantly reduced federal funding will force states to make one of two decisions – offer the same benefits to a smaller number of people or offer a smaller benefit package to the same number of people. In either case, all the progress we have made to improve health outcomes, reduce the number of uninsured individuals, and serve people in better, more efficient ways will be reversed as benefits are cut and less people are served.It appears that the purpose of the legislative process, to engage in meaningful deliberations that determine the viability of laws and whether they make practical sense in implementation, has been lost in this debate. It has been replaced instead with piecemeal amendments intended to shore up individual votes that continue to strip coverage from more and more people. For the sake of the people of Pennsylvania, and for all Americans, I urge you to vote no on this hurtful and extreme piece of legislation.Sincerely,Tom WolfGOVERNOR
A release from the office of Florida’s Secretary of State indicated the first unofficial set of returns for the U.S. Senate, Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture races in Floridahas met the statutory threshold to trigger a machine recount. As required under Florida law, a statewide machine recount has been ordered by the Secretary of State. The results of the machine recount (also referred to as the second unofficial set of returns) are due no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 15 to the Florida Department of State. Florida’s timeline for the reporting and certification of election results, which includes the process for possible recounts for any races on the ballot, is available in detail on the Division of Elections website. For additional background information on the recount process, please see Sections 102.141(7) and 102.166, Fla. Stat. (2013), and Rule 1S-2.031, Fla. Admin. Code.