For Immediate Release
June 29, 2017
Treasurer Torsella, Auditor General DePasquale Urge Senator Toomey to Vote for Pennsylvanians, Against Better Care Reconciliation Act
Congressional Budget Office analysis projects bill would cut $772 billion in Medicaid from states
Harrisburg, PA – The state’s two fiscal watchdogs — Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Treasurer Joe Torsella — today sent a letter to Senator Patrick Toomey urging him to vote against the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) which would significantly cut Medicaid funding for Pennsylvania.
This week’s analysis of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office makes it clear that the proposed federal legislation would hurt states’ ability to provide affordable health care to residents.
Text of the letter is included below.
Susan Woods (Auditor General), 717-787-1381 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Havens, (717) 787-2991 or email@example.com
June 29, 2017
The Honorable Patrick Toomey, United States Senator
248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Dear Senator Toomey:
As Pennsylvania’s statewide fiscal officers, we are writing to you to express our grave concerns with the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) now being considered in the United States Senate.
Earlier in June, we sent a letter to the General Assembly and to Governor Wolf to sound the alarm about the precarious state of Pennsylvania’s General Fund. The Commonwealth is currently grappling with a $3 billion structural deficit. Additionally, our future projections show that we can expect the General Fund to be in a negative balance for 8 consecutive months in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
We believe it is critical that you and Pennsylvania’s other federal representatives act in the state’s best interests. BCRA would devastate Pennsylvania families by increasing the state’s structural deficit by up to an additional $3 billion. Passage of the BCRA will necessitate large state tax increases, force hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians off of their health insurance, or some combination of those factors. In addition, the loss of health insurance for constituents in our state will result in job losses in Pennsylvania’s healthcare industry, further strain families, and drain tax revenue from the state’s already negative General Fund.
Quite simply, the path outlined by the bill is fiscally dangerous to the Commonwealth and its residents. We hope that you, as one of our federal representatives, would help our state as we seek to achieve fiscal stability.
As the Commonwealth’s statewide fiscal officers, we urge you to act in the best interests of Pennsylvania’s families and finances by withdrawing your support for the BCRA. Please do not hesitate to contact either of our offices if you would like to discuss this issue further.
Joseph M. Torsella Eugene A. DePasquale
State Treasurer Auditor General
The Pennsylvania Treasury is an independent department of state government led by the state treasurer, who is elected every four years. The department's primary duty is to safeguard and manage the state's public funds. It invests state money to generate income on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania, reviews and processes payments for state government agencies, and serves as custodian of more than $100 billion in state funds. Key Treasury programs include Unclaimed Property, PA 529 College Savings Program and the Board of Finance and Revenue.