Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court has ruled that the transfer of tobacco settlement monies that used to support the adultBasic program to the general fund was illegal.
The transfer resulted in the 2011 closure of adultBasic, which allowed low-income workers to purchase health insurance at a minimal cost. According to filers of the lawsuit, about 41,000 people were enrolled in adultBasic when it closed, and approximately 500,000 people were on its waiting list.
Governor Corbett has not issued a statement on the ruling.
State Treasurer Rob McCord called the ruling “an important victory for Pennsylvania’s working poor as well as a reminder that this administration has repeatedly used poor judgment when it comes to protecting the health of its citizens.”
McCord said the ruling “should force Governor Corbett and his administration to reconsider their ill-advised decision to refuse federal support for Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. It’s time for them to get it right for a change and act in the best interests of the people they’re supposed to protect.”
Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Public Welfare Bev Mackereth said in budget hearings today that the governor has not said no to expanding Medicaid, but that Pennsylvania needs to discuss reform and flexibility with the federal government and understand exactly what is at stake.