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.



We must:

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

A Democrat and a Republican agree: Let seniors get quality care at home

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.

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Sabatina Recognizes April as Autism Awareness Month

Harrisburg- March 27, 2018- Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) introduced a resolution to designate April 2018 as Autism Awareness Month. “It is incredibly important to recognize all those who are on the autism spectrum, as well as their families and caregivers. We...

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Senator Yudichak Hosts Healthcare Enrollment Session

Nanticoke, December 5, 2017 —  State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) joined the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus in hosting a healthcare enrollment session at the Luzerne County Community College’s (LCCC’s) Education Conference Center in Nanticoke. The...

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