Jay Costa on Healthcare

Expanding Medicaid

In the Senate, I pushed for the expansion of Medicaid which brought coverage and access to medical treatment to more than 125,000 additional Pennsylvanians.

Yet there are still some in Harrisburg who would like to roll back access to Medicaid and force tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors off Medicaid and remove their basic coverages. We can’t let that happen.

That’s why I’m fighting to continue expanding access to affordable healthcare options that all Pennsylvanians deserve, including the expansion of CHIP which provides coverage for tens of thousands of PA residents; making it easier for parents to afford basic healthcare for their children.

Making Health Care Accessible to All

When our families are sick, we don’t care if the nearest hospital is in-network. We only care about getting the help they need. But, far too often, competition between healthcare providers can get in the way of that desperately-needed care, especially when patients and their families need it most.

  • That’s why I introduced SB 310 and 311 in the Senate, legislation compelling providers like UPMC and Highmark to accept payments from any insurance company a patient has. 

Protecting Pennsylvanians with Pre-Existing Conditions

We need to do all we can to make sure health care companies don’t prioritize profits over Pennsylvanians.

  • I support Senate Bill 50, which would outlaw discrimination based on pre-existing conditions in Pennsylvania and keep tens of thousands of our neighbors covered. 

Protecting Essential Health Benefits

Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to health benefits like emergency care, maternal support, pediatric check-ups, and affordable prescription drugs. These services are essential to our wellbeing, and shouldn’t be rolled back by politicians who consider basic healthcare “too expensive.”

  • That’s why I sponsored Senate Bill 51, mandating all healthcare plans offered in Pennsylvanian include guaranteed essential health benefits.  These plans provide coverage for some of our most vulnerable neighbors: seniors, children, and low-income families. They need to know we have their backs and will work to protect their coverage.

Protecting Seniors 

Pennsylvania seniors have earned the right to full healthcare coverage in their retirement. No senior should have to make a choice between paying for their medication or paying the mortgage.

  • As Senate Democratic Leader, I led the charge to expand PACE and PACENET to ensure thousands of seniors can afford the life-saving medication they need. I will always be an outspoken advocate for our seniors and will work with any group or legislator willing to protect their rights. 

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is the most challenging public health emergency of our time – we all know someone who’s been affected by it. The last thing we need is unhelpful, bureaucratic red tape preventing state government from acting quickly to save lives.

It’s time we call this epidemic what it is: an emergency, and give our government all the resources it needs to combat it. 

We should be making it easier – not harder – for Pennsylvania families to get treatment for loved ones struggling with addiction and mental health disorders. 

  • That’s why I introduced SB 633, which would give our state’s Health Department more flexibility to combat this epidemic. 
  • Governor Wolf and I know just how much pain the opioid crisis has caused our communities. That is why I introduced Senate Bill 633, which would give the Governor and the Health Department the tools and authority they need to fight this crisis through a public emergency declaration.
  • I secured $2 million in state funding to expand the commonwealth’s specialty drug courts, ensuring residents who interact with our legal system as a result of their addictions have access to rehabilitation instead of incarceration. 
  • I fought to make life-saving Naloxone available to our police and EMTs and expanded the state’s drug take-back program. Both programs have been a success and are proven to save lives.

Women’s Healthcare Justice 

No one in government should come between a woman and the advice of her medical practitioners. I have received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and I will always fight against legislation that seeks to regulate a woman’s body, including:

  • Fighting Against SB 3 and similar bills restricting a woman’s right to choose.
  • Against HB 2315
  • Against HB 321

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