The continued growth in public welfare spending is unsustainable. The federal government is responsible for much of the welfare system, but states can adopt reforms that preserve welfare resources for the most vulnerable. By enacting reforms that promote work and independence, Pennsylvania can right-size state welfare spending and help more Pennsylvanians get back on their feet. Taxpayers deserve a welfare system that compliments a strong economy.

Welfare

Unwinding Medicaid Continuous Enrollment

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 10, 2023

Summary On April 1, Pennsylvania returned to normal Medicaid eligibility rules and began a year-long process of redetermining eligibility for all 3.68 million beneficiaries.Medicaid spending grows faster than our state…

Fact Sheet

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Welfare

Medicaid needs a better ‘normal’ in Pa.

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 7, 2023

Originally published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review This month, Medicaid is finally returning to normal — but “normal” was never that great. Currently, an estimated 600,000 ineligible Pennsylvanians…

Media Hit

Read More: Medicaid needs a better ‘normal’ in Pa.

Education

Common Ground in the Commonwealth Poll Findings

  • Jennifer Stefano
  • April 6, 2023

Summary The Common Ground in the Commonwealth Poll, conducted March 24-29, is the first in a series of quarterly surveys taking the pulse of voters on the “state of the…

Memo

Read More: Common Ground in the Commonwealth Poll Findings

Prosperity

Tearing Down Barriers to Prosperity: How More Economic Freedom Can Reduce Poverty and Boost Prosperity in Pennsylvania

  • Meg Tuszynski
  • February 21, 2023

Key Findings Economic freedom, specifically lower government spending, strongly and consistently offers both increases in prosperity and reductions in poverty.States that gained economic freedom from 2010 to 2019 tend to…

Executive Summary

Read More: Tearing Down Barriers to Prosperity: How More Economic Freedom Can Reduce Poverty and Boost Prosperity in Pennsylvania

Independence

Pa’s Wayward Welfare State

  • October 27, 2022

Summary Policies that expanded Medicaid eligibility to healthy, working-aged people and do not require the verification of eligibility have expanded the size and complexity of a program designed to focus…

Fact Sheet

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Health Care

Preserving Medicaid Before It’s Too Late

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 24, 2020

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program is a national leader in all the wrong ways. Sub-standard access to care and soaring enrollment, costs, and fraud crowd out services for people with intellectual disabilities and low-income…

Backgrounder

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Health Care

Where Have All the Human Service Dollars Gone?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 10, 2020

Nearly half of Pennsylvania's budget goes to human services or welfare. Governor Wolf wants to increase human service spending by $1.4 billion next year. But how well are these programs…

Commentary

Read More: Where Have All the Human Service Dollars Gone?

Criminal Justice Reform

CF’s 2020 Vision

  • January 1, 2020

The Commonwealth Foundation’s mission sounds pretty simple: transform free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish. Accomplishing that mission—with a divided government, powerful special interests, and a diverse…

Media

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Taxes & Economy

Feds Restore Foodstamp Rules: Providing a Pathway to Independence

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 6, 2019

Pennsylvanians are experiencing the lowest unemployment rates on record and wages are rising, including wages at the lower end of the pay scale. Across the country 16 states have restored…

Media

Read More: Feds Restore Foodstamp Rules: Providing a Pathway to Independence

Regulation

The O-Zone Hole

  • Andrew Abramczyk
  • November 15, 2019

State and national governments sometimes designate “Economic Opportunity Zones,” geographic areas wherein they give tax breaks to incentivize investment. If opportunity zones are such a great idea, though, why not…

Media

Read More: The O-Zone Hole

Health Care

The Administrative Cost of Community Engagement Requirements in Medicaid

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 30, 2019

This is the first in a series of policy briefs looking at the common objections to implementing community engagement requirements, or work expectations, for healthy adults receiving benefits under Medicaid…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Administrative Cost of Community Engagement Requirements in Medicaid

Taxes & Economy

The Not-So Secret Trick to Raise Kids out of Poverty

  • Andrew Cuff, Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 10, 2019

Innassa, a Pittsburgh native, was a stay-at-home mom for her two sons while her husband worked. Then, he got injured—and three surgeries later, still hasn’t recovered. “He’s talking and can…

Media

Read More: The Not-So Secret Trick to Raise Kids out of Poverty

Health Care

Sen. Martin Introduces Bill to Protect Safety Net

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 5, 2019

Steve Blazer of Surge Staffing is taking an unusual approach to filling hundreds of open warehouse positions: attending job fairs at state prisons. Steve’s struggle to find workers is…

Media

Read More: Sen. Martin Introduces Bill to Protect Safety Net

Taxes & Economy

The Battle Over General Assistance and Our Poverty Problem

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 2, 2019

In 2012, lawmakers ended a small cash welfare program called General Assistance. Despite all the recent Democratic hubbub, none of the members actually tried to restart the program through the…

Media

Read More: The Battle Over General Assistance and Our Poverty Problem

Regulation

No More Food Stamps for Millionaires

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • July 31, 2019

Leroy Fick won $2 million playing the Michigan lottery. He bought a new home and a costly car, all while collecting taxpayer-funded food stamps. Fick and stories like his…

Media

Read More: No More Food Stamps for Millionaires

Criminal Justice Reform

Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 12, 2019

Here's a letter I submitted to the Philadelphia Daily News on how Pennsylvanians of any ideology can share good intent, and work toward a common goal. I was disappointed…

Media

Read More: Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort