Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2014-2015 budget proposal, issued on Feb. 4, 2014, supports improved access to care through additional funds for the state’s community health centers, loan forgiveness and residency slots, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Related to access to care, Gov. Corbett’s budget proposal:
- Doubles funds to Pennsylvania’s community-based health care clinics, while adding another four health centers. With those additional centers, Pennsylvania will fund 40 total.
- Funds 12 new residency slots for medical school graduates who are legal Pennsylvania residents
- Supports increasing access to primary care in rural Pennsylvania
- Increases medical student loan repayment programs for those health care professionals working in primary care settings in rural and underserved areas
- Increases funding for CHIP, which would allow an approximately additional 10,000 children to be insured
According to Bruce MacLeod, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, Gov. Corbett recognized the need to expand access, not only by funding more insurance programs, but also by building a stronger support network and helping build the health care workforce.
“Giving more people the opportunity to be insured is a positive thing, but only if they have a place to use it when they need care,” said Dr. MacLeod in a recent press release. “We’re really encouraged to see that work is being done to preserve the safety net and increase the number of providers available.”