Lancaster County House GOP Delegation Supports Welfare Reform Included in State Budget
HARRISBURG –The House of Representatives voted to approve legislation to ensure our Medicaid assistance program remains solvent and available to those who truly need it.
Every financially secure person who uses federal Medical Assistance and does not pay a small premium toward shoring up the system results in a person at or near poverty level not receiving the same Medical Assistance. At the same time, if a low-income person using Medicaid can work and contribute to society, they should.
The Lancaster County Republican Delegation – State Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) – issued the following statement:
“Medicaid is one of the most expensive items to carry year-to-year in the state budget, and the federal government will be ratcheting that assistance back as Congress attempts to get $20 trillion in federal debt under control. This means we need to start making up that money somewhere to keep vital programs solvent and asking people who are able to help pull the cart to do so instead of just riding in it.
“The specific changes require the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to seek a waiver from the federal Center for Medicaid Services to require reasonable work requirements for those who are physically and mentally able. It would also require DHS to seek a waiver to require parents to pay premiums for children who qualify for Medicaid due solely to a medical diagnosis and not for income reasons. It would apply only to those making at least 1,000 percent of federal poverty level, as compared to the 400 percent of the federal poverty level limitations contained in the Affordable Care Act. For example, a family of four would be responsible for paying a monthly premium – beginning at $50 – when its income is at least $246,000. The fees would be established on a sliding scale, similar to how the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) works.
“Pennsylvania’s current system bases eligibility for Medicaid assistance for children with disabilities on the child’s income, not that of the families. This allows families that are financially secure to get free care for their children up to age 21 and not pay a small premium to help maintain the system.”
Pennsylvania is currently the only state that does not base benefits on family income.
Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner