from the inbox:
Today the law firm of Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy announced that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that the Corbett Administration must reinstate the AdultBasic Care program beginning in fiscal year 2013-14.
“This is a significant victory for people in Pennsylvania who work hard and play by the rules, but can’t afford private insurance,” said William R. Caroselli. “AdultBasic was created to help the working poor. It’s not a handout and it presents no cost to the taxpayers. It’s affordable care that is fully funded by the tobacco settlement. What the administration did was reprehensible and we are pleased that the Commonwealth Court ordered them to reinstate this important program.”
AdultBasic was created to allow low-income workers to purchase health care insurance at a minimal cost. It was funded by law by the Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act which required that federal 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. Pennsylvania receives annual settlement payments from tobacco companies, which amounted to more than $340 million in fiscal year 2009-2010.
In February of 2011, the Corbett Administration ended the AdultBasic program, redirected the tobacco settlement money to the state’s general fund, and essentially left 41,000 working, low-income Pennsylvanians without coverage. Caroselli Beachler filed a civil action in March of 2011 to save AdultBasic.
In his opinion, President Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote that the Corbett Administration’s actions to eliminate AdultBasic were unconstitutional and that the court “direct[s] them to appropriate the 30% of the [tobacco settlement fund] to ‘health investment insurance pursuant to Chapter 13 and for the purchase of Medicaid benefits for workers with disabilities pursuant to Chapter 15,’ i.e., the MAWD [Medicare assistance for workers with disabilities] and AdultBasic programs.”
“This is a great win for low-income Pennsylvanians,” added David S. Senoff of Caroselli Beachler. “It confirms what we’ve been saying all along: killing the AdultBasic Care program was not only mean spirited; it was against the law.”