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Comment to PA DPW hearings on Healthy PA

Despite its good intentions Healthy PA is a misguided and dangerous additional step in the direction of fiscal insanity. First let’s think about the insidious lure of “Federal” money. Federal money IS our money. It comes from the pockets of Pennsylvanians or is imposed as a crushing debt on our children. While Healthy PA is not exactly an expansion of the existing failed structure, we know there are better approaches to the entire Medicaid program. We can see the results of situations where people are empowered with ownership of accounts they control. We know how spending one’s own money can control overuse, encourage wise use, and reduce fraud. Healthy Indiana showed how money can be saved by giving it away-such is the power of ownership! Knowing this we should insist that any expansion only be considered after first changing how we run the existing system, using savings wrung from it, except in this “partnership” arrangement the rules only go in one direction, from the Federal Government top down. We also know of suggestions to boost the number of and participation in free charity clinics, where doctors can operate outside the crush of burdensome regulations. We’ve passed Act 10, and HB1760 sits in our Health Committee and would not need a Medicaid waiver. While any state would put itself at an extreme financial disadvantage by exiting the Medicaid program entirely, we also know that if every state did so we would all be better off. The added layer of Federal bureaucracy and administrative expense could be used to treat needy sick people. Think then where we are today. Here we stand asking a powerful central authority to give us permission to do what should be the absolute right of free sovereign states and people under a constitution unique in the history of the world. This is America upside down. This is a great nation in decline. Healthy PA is further participation in that decline, and it’s time we stop allowing it to continue and expand. Rather than making a stand for commonsense solutions we do understand, by becoming leaders for freedom, educating our citizens to what really would work to the extent they understand and demand it, we succumb to expediency, dare I say, political expediency, in an election year. It’s time we act like the sovereigns we are and end this bowing to a powerful central authority in Washington DC that is changing the fabric and face of America. Thinking beyond ourselves to generations yet to come we would set Healthy PA aside and choose a different path. Submitted January 9, 2014 Todd Keefer, York County