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

Senator Haywood Opposes Restrictions on Women’s Right to Choose

Senator Haywood Opposes Restrictions on Women’s Right to Choose

Harrisburg – November 18, 2019 – Democratic Chair of the PA Senate Health and Human Services Committee State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) released the following statement opposing Down Syndrome abortion legislation: “Termination of a pregnancy is an...

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Dinniman, Kearney Discuss Support for Brain Injury Community

Dinniman, Kearney Discuss Support for Brain Injury Community

HARRISBURG − October 23, 2019 – Pennsylvanians living with traumatic and acquired brain injuries came to the state capitol this week to share their stories of survival, recovery, and hope. State Senator Andy Dinniman, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Brain...

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Senator Haywood to Conduct State-Wide Poverty Listening Tour

Senator Haywood to Conduct State-Wide Poverty Listening Tour

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...

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