Last month, Governor Chris Christie announced that New Jersey would accept federal funds to extend Medicaid health coverage to more than 300,000 New Jerseyans because it was “the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health.” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett should follow his lead.
The proposed public welfare budget brings with it little of the controversy of the past two budgets. The one exception is the continued assault on health care services. The proposal fails to build in the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act — a move that jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funding.
The governor’s budget does little to reduce the trend of disinvestment in Pennsylvania schools and communities. It relies heavily on speculative and one-time sources of funding, and proposes expensive new corporate tax breaks that will continue to shift costs to local taxpayers. Read PBPC's media statement.
If Pennsylvania does not opt to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, it will create a coverage gap for families between 46% and 100% of poverty. These families won’t receive Medicaid coverage, and they won’t receive subsidies to buy health coverage.
Montgomery County administrator voiced concerns about the state's move toward block grants for human services funding. Unlike Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties, Montgomery County did not apply to be part of this year’s new pilot block grant for the Human Services Development Fund.