How To Kill Medicaid Without Anyone Knowing
May 5, 2009, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Ian | Tags:

The following alert just crossed my e-mailbox:


The Pennsylvania Senate introduced SB 850 as their proposed 2009-2010 state budget on Friday, May 1st.  That legislation is poised to be voted on, and adopted, by the Senate tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6thSB 850 eliminates all state funding (all $3,172,000 of the state’s appropriation) for civil legal services. Access to justice is a major concern to the members of the PA Bar Association.  The reduction of funding for legal services at a time of substantially increased need due to current, severe economic recession is remarkable.

Please call your state senator immediately.  Implore him/her to restore the state appropriation for civil legal services.  Tell him/her that access to justice for the poorest among us is not an appropriate “bargaining chip” for budget negotiation.

What’s especially cruel about this tactic is that it is a backdoor way to cut essential safety net programs like Medicaid.  One of the principal responsibilities of legal services attorneys is to represent impoverished clients when they are wrongfully denied benefits.  No legal services attorneys means no lawyers to represent the poor in benefits hearings and the like, which means that thousands of Pennsylvanians who are entitled to medical care and other essential benefits will go without for lack of adequate representation.

Conservatives could never get away with outright slashing lifesaving benefits for poor Pennsylvanians, so they’ve apparently decided to use a backdoor method instead.


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