Mar. 28, 2023

Acting Secretary Dr. Debra L Bogen, Kristen Rodack, Executive Deputy Secretary, Danielle Pierre, Deputy Secretary of Administration, Andrea Race, Chief Financial Officer, of the Department of Health testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on regulatory reform, support for EMS responders, and support of efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.  Additionally, House Republicans questioned the rationale behind cutting support for individuals and families coping with ALS.   

Key Takeaways

House Republicans find the Governor’s decision to reduce the ALS support line-item abhorrent. The line-item should be treated like every other disease support line-item in the budget which are proposed to be funded at 2022-23 levels.  
House Republicans support the efforts of the department to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, but we do need clarity on the actual use of those funds, as well as any federal funding that may be available in the future. 
Long-term care and healthcare providers continue to be subject to multiple and sometimes confusing regulations.  The Department of Health needs to coordinate with other agencies and review the necessity of their own regulations. 
Recruiting and retaining healthcare workers continues to be a priority of House Republicans. 
The department must work quickly to address the EMS staffing crisis which is vital to Pennsylvania’s future. 

Notable Q&A

Rep. Lou Schmitt questions why the Department of Health cut support for individuals and families afflicted with ALS and why no other disease support line-items were cut. 

Rep. Torren Ecker asks the Department of Health to provide information on the rising costs of the skilled nursing facility regulations.  

Rep. Clint Owlett questions the Department of Health on what they can do to update Pennsylvania’s EMS training and testing requirements. 

Watch Full Hearing