Health and Family Security

Issue Spotlight: Healthy PA Is 'Bad Medicine'

Governor Corbett's Healthy PA plan threatens to undermine the stability of community health centers and services for Pennsylvania's most vulnerable, writes Dr. Hilda Shirk, the chief executive officer of SouthEast Lancaster Health Services.

Learn More: Read Dr. Shirk's Commentary

Comments: Read PBPC's Comments on the Healthy PA Plan

Summary: Governor's Healthy PA Plan

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View detailed data on student poverty concentration by school district.

October 14, 2014

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will end family planning coverage for almost 90,000 low income women currently enrolled in SelectPlan for Women, most of whom will be eligible for comprehensive health care coverage through Healthy Pennsylvania. Rather than ending the SelectPlan waiver, DPW should transition eligible SelectPlan enrollees into Healthy Pennsylvania and continue to offer SelectPlan as a choice for women who are not Medicaid expansion-eligible.

This paper is part of the work of the Close the Gap Campaign, to ensure that states accept the federal dollars set aside to extend Medicaid to low-income adults, and that Medicaid expansion waivers do not undermine the goal of providing comprehensive coverage with minimal burdens on potential enrollees. The Close the Gap Campaign is funded by the ACA Implementation Fund, a collaboration of eight national foundations that include The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.

August 15, 2014

Several American cities have raised cigarette taxes as a public health measure and to generate local revenue for cash-strapped programs. These taxes are not as regressive as once assumed and can be an important part of a local funding package. Philadelphia has requested authorization from the General Assembly to add a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city to raise an estimated $70-$90 million  for its public schools.

Here are updated department totals and line-items for Education, Public Welfare, and selected other programs, based on the Govenor's approval of the budget on July 10. 

April 17, 2014

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. Close to two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly, or disabled.

April 16, 2014

The debate over raising the minimum wage can quickly become a fog of studies and numbers. So in the spirit of keeping people honest, we review some of the arguments against raising the wage made in a Philadelphia Inquirer article by Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry chief Gene Barr.

April 16, 2014

SNAP spending, which doubled as a share of the economy in the wake of the Great Recession, has begun to decline, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other experts expected.

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