Disingenuousness as an art form is a given in politics — as long as it’s effective for a particular politician or group.
Then there’s Gov. Tom Corbett’s “Healthy Pennsylvania” plan for the expansion of Medicaid submitted recently to the federal government under the Affordable Care Act.
Condescending, punitive and riddled with incongruities, the plan — considered dead on arrival by health care critics — reads more like a political party platform plank than an attempt to provide basic medical care to more than a half-million Pennsylvanians.
It tosses in a work-search requirement while cutting benefits for many of the states neediest, then imposes penalties on missed premium payments. The plan, even if approved, couldn’t take effect until 2015.
A work-search requirement for Medicaid benefits is effectively barred under federal law — clearly a non-starter. Regarding proposed penalties on missed premium payments, the Corbett administration said it’s an attempt “to instill a sense of personal responsibility into the program and reinforce incentives for healthier behaviors.” That’s governmental arrogance and condescending in the extreme for the neediest and seniors facing ongoing financial difficulties.
The requirements in Corbett’s “Healthy Pennsylvania” proposal contain a disappointing litany of “fat chance” obstacles.
Meanwhile, health-care coverage for 500,000 Pennsylvanians remains in limbo.