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Pennsylvania Health Law Project: Helping People in Need Get the Health Care They Deserve
A Year of Compassion and Service for Pennsylvanians in Distress

As the year comes to an end, PHLP would like to thank all of our volunteers, partners and donors. Your support helped us secure health care for low income persons and those who are otherwise vulnerable or disenfranchised.

PHLP stands by people in distress; people who didn’t do anything wrong but whose physical and mental well being is compromised.

Every month we have profiled a client for whom PHLP has made a difference; stories of Pennsylvanians who had nowhere else to turn, and who, without our services, would have been significantly harmed:

Valerie: a 19-year-old woman from Central Pennsylvania, with tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on her brain and on other vital organs. Valerie simply wanted to continue living at home with her loving parents but needed help obtaining in-home services; services that were more humane and less expensive than the alternative: a nursing home.

PHLP advocacy was successful, but Valerie’s case shows that in-home services do not come easily, even to the most vulnerable. 
 
Ira: a 28-year-old man with complex health needs, including Down Syndrome, heart problems, ADHD, and compulsive behavior issues. For years, Ira lived at home and received skilled care and supervision which allowed him to thrive. But this year, when those services were reduced, Ira gained weight, his ability to communicate regressed, and he experienced a marked increase in self-destructive behaviors.

PHLP successfully challenged the service denial, allowing Ira to keep his skilled aides who have done so much to improve his health, behavior, communication skills and general well-being.
 
Helen: an 89-year-old woman with Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Helen called PHLP during this year’s Medicare open enrollment period, when her prescription drug plan told her she would have to pay a monthly premium starting in January. She needed the coverage for her diabetes medications, but worried that she wouldn’t be able to afford the premium on her limited income.

PHLP told Helen how to switch to another plan that does not have a premium, and helped her select the best new plan for her—one that will cover all of her medications without charging her a monthly premium. 
 
These are just a few of the 3,500 cases that reflect the hard work of our incredible staff. Our work is meaningful to us because the services we obtain are important to people’s well being, and often allow them to become or stay productive and employable.
 
We deeply appreciate your sacrifices, large and small, in these difficult times. Your support makes our work possible. PHLP’s services are free to clients. We need your help to continue this critical work.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to PHLP by clicking the donate button. Your support allows us to assist vulnerable Pennsylvanians like Valerie, Ira, and Helen.

Thank you!

PHLP in The News

PA Will Run Its Own Health Insurance Exchange, WHYY Newsworks, 11/22/11

Funding Options for Disability-Related Medical Services, Berks County TV, 12/1/11

PA's Drop in Medicaid Rolls Stirs Controversy, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/15/11, reprinted in The York DispatchThe SentinelPhillyBurbs.comThe Republic, nola.com

What We're Reading
 
The Moral Test, Donald Berwick, The Picker Institute, 12/7/11
 
To Fix Health, Help the Poor, New York Times Op-Ed, 12/8/11
 
Illustrating Health Reform: How Health Insurance Coverage Will Work, Interactive Tool, Kaiser Family Foundation

Essential Health Benefits: Balancing State Flexibility with Consumer Protections, Commonwealth Fund Blog, 12/20/11

Spotlight on Advocacy

PHLP urges Pennsylvania to simplify enrollment and renewal practices for child health insurance. To learn more, click here
Support our work!

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. PHLP engages in direct advocacy on behalf of individual consumers while working on the kinds of health policy changes that promise the most to the Pennsylvanians in greatest need.
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