Governor’s decision not to expand Medicaid could affect thousands of injured Pennsylvanians

Governor Tom Corbett has met with federal legislators and has - at least at this time - decided not to expand the state's Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Corbett cites budget worries for the decision that could jeopardize medical coverage for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents. He estimates that an expansion that would offer Medicaid coverage to those making slightly above the federal poverty line could end up costing the state upwards of $500 million in the coming years.

So, what does this decision mean for injured low-income citizens of the state? It not only means that they will normally have to forego preventative care like check-ups, vaccinations and physicals, they could miss out on proper treatment if they are injured. Governor Corbett has publicly stated that he is looking to the private insurance sector as a way to get coverage for hundreds of thousands of people in the state instead of leveraging the federal Medicaid program.

How this impacts the injured

The most important thing that a victim needs after a serious injury - whether it is from a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite or any other cause - is to get medical treatment. Someone without insurance might settle for substandard care or not seek medical attention at all, assuming that they cannot afford it. That decision could mean that the effects of an injury linger for months, even years, down the road. Of course, it could even mean that a once treatable injury proves to be fatal.

There is help out there, though, even for those without health insurance. For example, emergency rooms are available to provide acute care regardless of ability to pay. If you have been injured due to the actions (or inaction) of another person or a business, getting some form of medical treatment is vital. It is critical not only to your physical recovery to seek care as soon as possible following an injury, it is also vital to adequately document the extent of the harm for the purpose of preserving the ability to bring a civil claim to recover costs in the future.

If you have been injured in any kind of Pennsylvania motor vehicle accident, trucking accident, premises liability incident, medical malpractice or other negligence, seek treatment as soon as possible, and then consider seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.