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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 19, 2017 08:36 AM
From: Representative Seth M. Grove
To: All House members
Subject: Work Requirements for Welfare
Pennsylvania enters into another difficult budget season the time has come to begin addressing the cost drivers within the Commonwealth’s operating budget. One of the largest drivers of our total budget is the state’s Medicaid program.

In order to address the costs associated with Medicaid while still providing care for Pennsylvanians in need, I plan to introduce legislation which would place reforms which historically had bipartisan support. These reforms draw from President Clinton’s successful Welfare to Work program including work requirements and a life-time limit of 5 years for Medicaid eligibility. The intention of these provisions, as passed in 1996, is to further incentivize current enrollees who are able to work to find employment. Under these reforms the United States helped to increase employment while reducing Medicaid costs.

These reforms have not only been successful in the past, but have been successfully implemented by other states over the past few years. A good example of this fact comes from Maine’s changes to their food stamp program as work requirements not only reduced program costs, but it increased the number of people employed. Even those remaining on the program were required less public assistance than they had needed prior to the reforms due to higher levels of employment. The net result was approximately $30-$40million in savings for taxpayers.

Another reform in the Medicaid Waiver, proposed under this legislation, is the creation and use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s). How they are implemented is left up to the administration. However, the use of HSA’s by states such as Indiana which used these accounts to reduced the over utilization of healthcare services while improving healthcare outcomes for Medicaid enrollees.

By new submitting a new Medicaid Waiver which promotes bipartisan work incentives and creates Health Savings Accounts, the Commonwealth can save taxpayer money while improving healthcare outcomes. If you have any questions please contact Jordan Grant by email at Jgrant@pahousegop.com or by phone at 717-767-3947.

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Introduced as HB1407