PA Senate Democrats
FOR EVERY PENNSYLVANIAN
Quality, Affordable Healthcare
The last three years have been unprecedented. The pandemic, political upheaval, inflation, and international conflict have all had their toll on the national economy and our own pocketbooks. We can do more to help all Pennsylvanians by implementing popular and proven programs and policies.
Reforming our health care system and government response to public health – we must restore public trust through meaningful, systemic change that directly benefits the public, erases inequities in service and availability, and adequately provides resources from state government to address basic tenets of good health effectively and proactively across all communities.
- Health care is a human right. Therefore, ALL individuals should have access to high-quality, affordable health care. We support a public option so that everyone has access to the health care they need regardless of their ability to work.
- We have to invest in retaining, attracting, and educating more hospital staff. The current shortages are undermining access and care so we must address this through state action.
- Mental health care must be addressed. We have made historic investment in juvenile, school based care, and adult mental health care in the last year, but we must make this an annual expenditure and do more to help all Pennsylvanians.
- We must provide equitable access to care for minority communities.
- Continue to support the Affordable Care Act. It’s essential that the pillars of the ACA are kept in place, including:
- Maintaining coverage of essential health benefits including protecting Medicaid
- Covering pre-existing conditions; and
- Prohibiting lifetime and annual benefit limits
- We must invest in community care, including community health clinics to provide healthcare in minority and working-class neighborhoods
- Ensure state and county health offices are adequately staffed, properly trained, and held to high levels of transparency and accountability to the public
- Continued support and reliable funding for county human services block grants
Providing Access to Public Health Supports and Services Across the Entire Lifespan
- Maintain the right to abortion and reproductive health care access for all women
- Make childcare accessible and affordable to all working families
- Improve access to and affordability of housing and provide annual funding for the Whole Homes program
- Support childcare workers and providers by providing living wages and adequate reimbursement rates
- Provide earned sick leave and maternity leave essential to the health of women, minorities, and low-wage earners and their families
- Provide support to providers so they can increase and expand services
- Increase pay for employees across the human service sector in both direct care and homecare settings
- Support legislative solutions that recognize social determinants of health and alleviate burdens of economically disadvantaged and health-vulnerable populations
- Prevent gun violence. This is an epidemic in many communities across Pennsylvania and can be mitigated with common sense solutions including universal background checks, Emergency Risk Protection Orders, and limits on access to automatic weapons.
- Fund treatment and mitigation work against Substance Use Disorders (SUDs)
- Ensure medication-dependent individuals can get prescriptions that are affordable and timely delivered
- Address long waiting lists for services for the intellectually disabled community
- Food insecurity is a major barrier to good health over an individual’s lifespan, and we must do more at the state level to combat it
- We have to work to end the public benefits cliff. No one should be penalized for making more money and trying to improve their lot in life. We must find ways to extend coverage on important state programs for those increasing their incomes just above means tested income levels.
- Several pandemic era programs are ending at the federal level, including SNAP and Medicaid emergency programs. We need to find solutions for the impacted populations, including providing state funding for the lost federal appropriations.