Monday, March 14, 2011

Adult Basic Lawsuit

from the inbox:


** Pennsylvania state government’s failure to fund health insurance program violates the Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act and the Pennsylvania Constitution **

Pittsburgh, PA – Today the Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan and Conboy law firm, on behalf of the Pennsylvania residents harmed by the destruction of the adultBasic program, filed a class action lawsuit against Governor Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania Senate, and the Pennsylvania State House for failing to provide funding for the program as required by law.

AdultBasic was created to allow low-income workers to purchase health care insurance at a minimal cost. The suit states that by illegally zeroing out tobacco settlement monies from their intended and mandated purpose, Gov. Corbett and the Pennsylvania Legislature violated the Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act and the Pennsylvania Constitution.

“Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania legislature are in blatant violation of the law and the only way to hold them accountable is to take them to court,” said attorney William Caroselli, of Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan and Conboy. “Pennsylvania receives significant payments from the tobacco settlements every year, and state law mandates that those proceeds go toward making Pennsylvanians healthier, and that a portion be specifically directed to fund adultBasic. When adultBasic ended in February, it left 41,000 people all across Pennsylvania without health insurance. Thousands of Pennsylvanians are suffering because their own government broke the law, and that is inexcusable. We’re going to work to make this right for them.”

The defendants in the suit are Governor Tom Corbett; Budget Secretary Charles Zogby; the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Speaker of the House Samuel H. Smith; the Pennsylvania Senate; President Pro Tempore of the Senate Joseph B. Scarnati, III; and the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury.

The plaintiffs in the suit are seeking declaratory, mandamus and injunctive relief on behalf of all similarly situated individuals in Pennsylvania. The complaint was filed in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

According to the complaint, Pennsylvania receives annual settlement payments from tobacco companies, which amounted to more than $340 million in fiscal year 2009-2010. The Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act provides that the tobacco settlement monies would be “used to make Pennsylvanians healthier and provide for the health of future generations of Pennsylvanians,” and specifically that 30% of the proceeds would be shared between adultBasic Insurance and Medicaid for workers with disabilities.

However, as of February 28, 2011, funding for the program ceased. 41,000 enrollees were left without health insurance, and another approximately 500,000 low income working Pennsylvanians were removed from the waiting list.

The defendants are being charged with violating the Tobacco Settlement Act and with violating Article III, Section 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Article IV, Section 2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

“I know how important is it to have health insurance, and I relied on adultBasic for my coverage,” said Sheryl Sears, a plaintiff in the complaint. “Unfortunately, that’s the only coverage I can afford. Even though it was protected by law, it’s now gone. I’m afraid my only option is to live with the risk of being uninsured.”


Anonymous said...

The more I read about this and the more I search for new health insurance coverage, the more I think about how "the Blues" are making out on this. I can get BC/BS Special Care for around $162/month. Hey, if I had an extra $162/month I wouldn't have been on Adult Basic in the first place!! I am a divorced mom of 2 teens and because I choose to work full time and provide a comfortable(rented) home for us instead of sitting home with a houseful of children and cash support checks from a few different fathers on my way to get my $200 food order after getting my fake nails touched up, I "make to much money" to get Medical Assistance. It's going to continue until the only people left are the rich who can afford health coverage and the poor who would rather sit home and get their insurance/food stamps/rent rebates/etc/ handed to them every month from a state that is supposedly to poor to help the middle man. We will just fade away because we can not decide if we should pay our bills to live or save that money to go to a doctor when we desperately need to. Thanks PA!

Anonymous said...

I have had adult basic started. I was the only one working in all expenses were limited. I was so happy to be able to.get on the coverage. Until they dropped us 2/28/11. My family has no coverage. I unemployed on unemployment. Public.assistance would not give me medical.coverage for family . So now Mr Corbett, wht r we suppose we can't afford the plans they have to offer so what do we do?