HAP's Latest News

Health Care Highlights from the Governor’s Budget Proposal

Plan includes measures related to workforce, behavioral health

February 08, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf made his final budget pitch to the General Assembly today, calling for a $43.7 billion spending plan that includes several new investments related to health care.

Here are three major highlights for health care in the Governor’s plan:

Behavioral health:  The plan calls for additional funding to expand access to behavioral health services, including:

  • $75 million in federal funds to recruit and retain behavioral health providers
  • $36.6 million to invest in critical county behavioral health services
  • $15 million in federal funds to stabilize payments to substance use disorder treatment providers and assist with pandemic related expenses

Health care workforce:  Wolf proposed creating a $200 million need-based scholarship program for Pennsylvania state-system and community college students who commit to working within the state upon graduation and are pursuing careers in high-need sectors, including health care

Medicaid supplemental payments:  The proposed budget continues to fund Medicaid supplemental payments to hospitals that support quality of and access to care for vulnerable Pennsylvanians. This includes payments for obstetric and neonatal services, critical access hospitals, burn units, and trauma centers

“HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospital community thank Governor Wolf for including measures in his budget proposal to strengthen the health care workforce and expand access to behavioral health care,” HAP President and CEO Andy Carter said in a statement today. “Addressing these longtime concerns—both pushed to crisis levels by the COVID-19 pandemic—will be critical to helping the health care community recover and grow stronger to care for Pennsylvanians.”

HAP is reviewing Wolf’s proposal and will provide additional analysis to members this week via a HAP Memo and in next week’s HAP Update.

The budget process now shifts to state lawmakers, who will hold hearings over the next few months to inform their development of a final budget. HAP will continue to advocate with the General Assembly for health care priorities to be addressed in the spending plan.

For questions on HAP’s state budget advocacy, contact Heather Tyler, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.