Each state will be deciding in the next few weeks how the insurance exchange will be set up for its residents, Scanlan said. To sweeten the deal, the federal government would provide more funding and raise the maximum income for Medicaid eligibility.
Scanlan believes the Medicaid expansion would benefit the state by taking advantage of the extra federal funds.
“We want to see Medicaid expanded,” she said. “We don’t want the state to leave money on the table. We think it helps small businesses and it is a better way to pay for health care in the state.”
Scanlan said she is optimistic that the Affordable Care Act can provide more people with better health care and reduce costs.
“If we really think about what the health-care needs are, and all states try to put this in place, it will be successful,” she said.
Closing the Economic Summit, chamber President Mike Artim offered his definition of optimism for the Johnstown region.
“It was not the most uplifting report, but I am optimistic,” said Artim, who also is executive director of Cambria-Rowe Business College.
“To me, optimism is your belief in your ability to create your own future. It is up to us to create the world we want.”