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Pennsylvania health care plan draws fire at last hearing

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A leading advocate for senior citizens is opposing the Corbett administration's plan to overhaul Pennsylvania's Medicaid program and use federal funds to buy private health care insurance coverage for low-income Pennsylvanians.

AARP was among the groups that testified at a Department of Public Welfare hearing in Harrisburg -- the seventh and last hearing on the proposal.

AARP spokesman Ray Landis, whose group speaks for 1.8 million older Pennsylvanians, objected to proposed premiums and a job-search requirement.

Landis called the work-search requirement inappropriate for determining health care eligibility, and he said that provision, as well as the proposed premiums for coverage, represent barriers to enrollment in the program.

Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth said her department will respond to all comments before a final plan is submitted for federal approval.

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