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
When former USC assistant head coach Monte Kiffin announced on Nov. 29 that he was resigning from his post to pursue NFL coaching opportunities, many questioned whether the 72-year-old would garner much attention after a disappointing stint at USC.Yet Kiffin’s failure to meet expectations at USC did not dissuade the Dallas Cowboys from hiring the longtime NFL coach as the team’s new defensive coordinator on Jan. 11 — three days after the Cowboys controversially fired Rob Ryan, whose injury-depleted defense ranked 19 in the NFL in total yards allowed in 2012.Kiffin earned his reputation as a defensive guru during his 13-year tenure as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator, during which he became known as the architect of the famed “Tampa 2” defensive scheme that many teams still use today. In addition to winning the Super Bowl in 2002, the Buccaneers finished in the top 10 in total defense and scoring defense in 11 of Kiffin’s 13 years.Unfortunately for Kiffin, USC players failed to adapt to the Tampa 2, which stresses speed instead of size. In the three years prior to Kiffin’s arrival, USC defenses surrendered an average of 278.5 total yards and 14.9 points per game. Under Kiffin’s watch from 2010-12, however, USC defenses surrendered an average of 390 total yards and 24.9 points per game.The undoubted nadir of the 2012 season occurred during a two-game stretch against Arizona and Oregon in which USC gave up a combined 1,318 yards and 101 points to the two high-powered spread offenses. Following those defensive meltdowns, an offseason shakeup on the defensive coaching staff seemed inevitable, with Kiffin representing the most likely candidate to depart given his age and reluctance to force his son, USC coach Lane Kiffin, into the unenviable position of firing or demoting his father.With National Signing Day for high school recruits fast approaching, Lane Kiffin continues to seek an outside hire with a demonstrated knack for stopping spread offenses to replace his father. As several high-profile recruits make official visits this weekend, there is added urgency for the Trojans to announce a new defensive coordinator. Many defensive recruits are reportedly hesitant to commit to USC in blind faith before having a chance to see how they will fit into the team’s new defensive philosophies and schemes.