Pennsylvania Health Law Project: Helping People in Need Get the Health Care They Deserve
Remembering Methi Goonewardene

This month we remember Meth Ruvan “Methi” Goonewardene, who recently passed away. Methi was a special needs student at Mill Hall Elementary.  He touched the lives of everyone who crossed his path in a highly positive way with his ever cheerful smile, trademark “high fives” to show his happiness and “blow kisses” as his way of expressing love. He freely showed this affection to everyone around him. He relished the company of his family, caregivers, therapists, and nurses. 

We are also grateful that in lieu of flowers the family encouraged donations to PHLP. We are using the donations to provide legal advice and support to help families with special need kids get much needed funding for skilled nursing from the state to take care of their medically fragile children at home. Our services are offered free of charge.

It is a privilege to do this work, and we thank the Goonewardene family for helping to make it possible.

PHLP Comments on the Harmful Impacts of Pennsylvania’s Proposal to Restructure Medicaid
On April 10, the federal government's public comment period ended and negotiations have begun on Pennsylvania’s request for waivers of federal rules to change Pennsylvania’s current Medicaid program. The outcome is anything but certain. Pennsylvania's application (called Healthy Pennsylvania) breaks new ground on Medicaid policy, and it is not clear whether federal officials are ready to allow that.
Pennsylvania wants to use the federal money earmarked for an expansion of Medicaid to subsidize private insurance policies for the working poor while implementing significant changes to Pennsylvania’s current program. Other elements that push the boundaries of Medicaid — and thus would draw a hard look from the federal government — include premiums for enrollees and taking away coverage from those who miss deadlines to pay premiums. Pennsylvania also wants to waive Medicaid's appeals process, which guarantees benefits for enrollees while they fight to keep their eligibility, in favor of the private insurers' grievance and appeals processes.
PHLP commented that Healthy Pennsylvania will create significant barriers to coverage for both current and future consumers, and render existing Medicaid coverage less effective. The comments PHLP authored or supported can be found below:
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PHLP in The News

Paid Up But Uncovered: Insurer Cites "Rate" Glitch in City Woman's Policy, The Field Clinic Blog, April 15, 2014

What We're Reading

PA Denies 75% of Welfare Applicants, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 20, 2014

Measuring Marketplace Enrollment Relative to Projections, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2014

Mackereth Explains Healthy PA, Alternative to Medicaid Expansion, York Daily Record, April 2014
Correcting Seven Myths About Medicaid, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, April 2014
Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth, National Academy for State Health Policy
Mental Health Parity, Health Affairs Policy Brief, April 2014
Renewing Medicaid and CHIP Under the Affordable Care Act, Center for Children & Families (CCF) of Georgetown University, April 2014 
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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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