Health & Human Services
Health care is a hot button issue in today’s politics. However, one basic tenet underpins the efforts of the Senate Democrats: health care is a human right. As a country and a state, we have a moral and ethical obligation to provide access to healthcare to deliver the best opportunity for people reach their full potential.
Whether it’s battling drug and alcohol addiction, treating mental health issues, addressing permanent, chronic, and high-risk health problems, or simply helping a sick child, we all confront circumstances that require health care throughout our lives. We are better off using collective action than fighting them on our own.
Providing insurance, access to safe hospitals and services, and ensuring equitable opportunities to receive care are at the heart of the Senate Democrats agenda.
Guarantee that women and minorities have access to high quality, affordable healthcare
If health care is a right, it must be provided to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age, or sexuality. For too long, health care has not been equitably available to women and minorities. Insurance and hospital access has been denied, too expensive, or not covered necessary services in the past. We will fight to ensure everyone has equal access in the future.
Fight Opioid Abuse and Addiction
The opioid crisis has been declared a national and state emergency. We will fight to:
→ Establish more entry points and beds for treatment;
→ Strengthen prescription writing guidelines;
→ Make naloxone even more readily available to treat overdoses;
→ Allow families to petition for mandatory treatment of their addicted loved ones;
→ Work with pharmaceutical companies to identify solutions and prevention methods for addiction;
→ Impose an assessment on the wholesale import of opioids into Pennsylvania; and
→ Increase educational addiction programming in schools.
Protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
ObamaCare has covered 20 million previously uninsured individuals. Now Republicans want to take that coverage away. ObamaCare has strengthened the healthcare industry and provided new opportunities to millions. We must stand by the ACA and continue to expand on its promise.
Fight for CHIP
The Children’s Health Insurance Program covers 180,000 kids in Pennsylvania and 9 million nationally. The Republicans have turned it into a political football by using it a vehicle for discrimination and political leverage in Washington D.C. We must continue to fund the program and ensure its existence on the state level.
Ensure Additional Funding for Human Service Block Grants
Moving to a block grant has provided counties with much needed flexibility to address specific concerns such as mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, child welfare services, homelessness, and intellectual disabilities. However, we need more resources to truly address the scope of the problem. Huge cuts were made to these programs under the Corbett Administration that we are still trying to dig out from. The Senate Democrats want more money to go to our counties to help address these pressing issues.
Our Members at Work
Senator Haywood, Members of the General Assembly, & Statewide Advocates Defend General Assistance Program
HARRISBURG – June 24, 2019 – Health and Human Services Committee Democratic Chairman State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined members of the PA General Assembly and statewide advocates to fight to protect the General Assistance program. House Bill...read more
Former Penn State Kicker, Joey Julius, Joins Sen. Santarsiero, Rep. Murt to Promote Eating Disorder Parental Education Bills
HARRISBURG - June 17, 2019 —State Senator Steve Santarsiero, state Representative Tom Murt, Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania, Joey Julius, former football kicker for the Penn State Nittany Lions, and representatives from the National Eating...read more
PITTSBURGH - May 28, 2019 - Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. expressed hopefulness at today’s ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Commonwealth vs. UPMC. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case back to the...read more
HARRISBURG – May 8, 2019 – State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) will join Congressman Evans, PA Department of Human Services Secretary Miller, Senator Hughes, and Senator Blake on a statewide poverty tour from May 22-30th. On the 5-stop...read more
HARRISBURG – April 25, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) – a strong advocate for additional mental health funding -- applauded state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s recent call for more mental health resources to prevent gun deaths. “A key...read more
Senators Maria Collett and Dan Laughlin Announce Legislation to Establish Statewide Family and Medical Leave Program
HARRISBURG – April 18, 2019 – Senator Maria Collett (D-Montgomery/Bucks) and Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) have introduced “The Family Care Act” to establish a statewide Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. Every day, Pennsylvanians struggle to care for...read more
HARRISBURG - March 28, 2019 – State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today announced legislation designed to increase the number of Pennsylvania school children who are immunized against diseases that spread easily among groups, interrupt school life and...read more
Senator Maria Collett and Representative Gene DiGirolamo Announce Legislation to Set Safe Nurse-to-Patient Limits
HARRISBURG – March 20, 2019 – Senator Maria Collett RN (D-Montgomery/Bucks) and Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) held a press conference today to introduce their legislation to set safe nurse-to-patient limits in Pennsylvania hospitals. SB 450 and HB 867...read more
HARRISBURG -March 18, 2019 - Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and Senator Katie Muth (D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) today introduced Senate Bill 13 aiming to provide mandatory paid sick leave to all Pennsylvania workers. SB 13 would create the...read more
HARRISBURG - February 28, 2019 – Bipartisan legislation would improve screening and treatment of new mothers affected by postpartum depression, according to the bill’s sponsors, Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-46) and Judy Schwank (D-11). The Prenatal and Postpartum...read more
HARRISBURG, February 4, 2019 – Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and Representative Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) held an event to recognize Feb. 7, 2019 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day...read more
HARRISBURG - February 4, 2019 – State Senator Andy Dinniman was joined by legislative colleagues today to discuss bipartisan efforts to fight pediatric cancer in Pennsylvania. “Our children are precious in their innocence, their promise, and their resilience and...read more
Department of Human Services: Pennsylvania Announces Plans to Maintain Food Security Programs Through February Despite Federal Government Shutdown
The following information was released by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits: Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced that February benefits for...read more
HARRISBURG, December 20, 2018 –The Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus continues its fight to protect the major tenets of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) through two legislative proposals that would ensure comprehensive, quality and...read more
PHILADELPHIA, October 24, 2018 – Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) said today that the newly enacted Act 87 would expand the income limits for older Pennsylvanians who qualify for the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier...read more
HARRISBURG, October 16, 2018 – Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) was joined by Representative Pete Schweyer (D-Lehigh), Representative Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny), Representative Helen Tai (D-Bucks) and Representative Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) Tuesday...read more
HARRISBURG, October 16, 2018 – Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced that Senate Bill 1270 was approved by a unanimous vote today in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The bill would provide for universal lead testing for children and...read more
Op-ed by Senators Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and Michele Brooks (R-Crawford).
There are many choices and decisions that need to be made as we age. Medical choices are often the most important, and the most difficult, decisions that people will make for themselves and their loved ones.
One choice that people should never be forced to make is moving out of their home and into an institution because Medicaid will not cover the costs of in-home medical care.
HARRISBURG, August 1, 2018 – State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today issued the following statement regarding the sale of “whole plant” marijuana to Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients. “It’s a great day for medical marijuana patients in...read more
U.S. Sen. Casey, state Sen. Hughes Call for Federal Investigation of Racial Discrimination in Housing
Washington – April 3, 2018 – Recent revelations concerning potential racial discrimination in residential lending -- notably in Philadelphia -- have led U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and state Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) to call on U.S....read more