McKeesport, February 3, 2011 – Reflecting on the large number of local working families that rely on the state’s adultBasic program for health care coverage, state Sen. Jim Brewster today said he is urging legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett to work together to fill the program’s $55 million funding gap.

“Unless action is taken soon, this program will expire on February 28,” Brewster said. “AdultBasic is too crucial to low income working families for us to let it fail.”

AdultBasic provides low cost health insurance to over 40,000 Pennsylvanians. While commending Gov. Corbett for his interest in solving the funding crisis, Brewster said Corbett’s suggestion that the federally-funded Fair Care program pick up the slack would likely spur premium hikes that many local adultBasic enrollees could not afford.

“AdultBasic enrollees would face a whopping 800 percent premium hike,” Brewster said. “Making matters worse, the federal program only has 1,000 slots available – and there are 40,000 current adultBasic enrollees and thousands more on the waiting list.

“I hope people understand that most of these adultBasic enrollees are hard working people,” Brewster said. “Many hold down two or three jobs trying to make ends meet. By the time they pay their rent, utility and grocery bills, they have little left to pay for health insurance.”

Under the adultBasic program, eligible workers pay a monthly $36 per person premium. The program was previously funded with tobacco settlement monies and through contributions from the Blues Plans through the Community Health Reinvestment Agreement.

Brewster praised Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), who is calling for a four-caucus legislative meeting to work on ways to resolve the adultBasic funding issue.

As a means to put a human face on how the adultBasic funding crisis will hurt working families, Brewster is urging people to log onto his website at www.senatorbrewster.com and provide personal accounts or sign a petition urging that the adultBasic Program be saved.

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