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.

Criminal Justice Reform

Pennsylvania State Budget Toolkit

  • February 6, 2015

The enacted $29 billion General Fund budget (a 1.88 percent increase over 2013-2014) and $71.4 billion total operating budget represent Pennsylvania’s highest spending levels ever—exceeding years when federal stimulus dollars…

Fact Sheet

Read More: Pennsylvania State Budget Toolkit

Taxes & Economy

The Gift of Work

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 25, 2014

Red kettles, canned food drives, Toys for Tots—the holidays are a time when private charity shines. But have you ever wondered about the best way to help the poor? Ron…

Media

Read More: The Gift of Work

Healthcare

ACA Delivers Low-Quality, High Cost Care

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 30, 2014

The federal government’s health care overhaul is quickly becoming “Medicaid for all.” The more we learn about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) newly insured population, the clearer it becomes that…

Media

Read More: ACA Delivers Low-Quality, High Cost Care

Healthcare

Access to Care Still a Burden to Bear

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 8, 2014

Need to see a dermatologist in Philadelphia? If you are on Medicaid you’ll have to wait a staggering 49 days, according to recent Merritt Hawkins survey. This is no…

Media

Read More: Access to Care Still a Burden to Bear

Healthcare

When the Poorest Fall Through

  • Priya Brannick
  • October 6, 2014

On a Friday near noon, on the top floor of Christ Lutheran Church, John Kiessling has patients occupying both chairs at his charity dental clinic.  He buzzes from one to…

Media

Read More: When the Poorest Fall Through

Taxes & Economy

Safety Net Should be Reformed, not Renamed

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 18, 2014

Good news: Pennsylvania will no longer spend 40 percent of the general fund budget on public welfare. Instead, we’ll spend it on “human services.” Yesterday, the general assembly approved HB…

Media

Read More: Safety Net Should be Reformed, not Renamed

Healthcare

Healthy PA Approved, but Still Room to Improve

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 29, 2014

On Thursday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced approval of the Healthy PA waiver, including a new private coverage option. But the approved waiver severely limited…

Media

Read More: Healthy PA Approved, but Still Room to Improve

Taxes & Economy

Podcast: Profiles in Perseverance, Overcoming Poverty

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 25, 2014

Bobbi was struggling. A single mom of two kids, she had a job but no place to live. Thanks to Opportunity House in Reading, Pennsylvania, Bobbi found a home…

Media

Read More: Podcast: Profiles in Perseverance, Overcoming Poverty

Healthcare

There’s No Such Thing as a Temporary Expansion

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 17, 2014

Last week, the House Health and Human Services Committee advanced HB 1492 to accept the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion. This move would shift the purpose of Medicaid from caring for vulnerable…

Media

Read More: There’s No Such Thing as a Temporary Expansion

Taxes & Economy

Should Taxpayers Pay for Strippers?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 3, 2014

Should individuals be able to spend their welfare benefits on liquor, tobacco, gambling or strippers? Currently, they can. House Bill 907 would codify Department of Welfare electronic benefit card…

Media

Read More: Should Taxpayers Pay for Strippers?

Healthcare

Will Modified Medicaid Expansion Bring Needed Reforms?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • May 30, 2014

While Pennsylvania waits to learn the fate of the Healthy PA waiver, Indiana is making headlines as the latest state to propose a modified expansion. The Healthy Indiana Plan…

Media

Read More: Will Modified Medicaid Expansion Bring Needed Reforms?

Healthcare

Poverty Isn’t a Partisan Problem

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 29, 2014

Here’s a sobering fact: 13.1 percent of Pennsylvanians live in poverty despite billions spent every year on the social safety net. Simply throwing more money at the problem won’t make…

Media

Read More: Poverty Isn’t a Partisan Problem

Taxes & Economy

The Harmful Effects of a Minimum Wage Increase

  • April 7, 2014

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Although it sounds beneficial to low-wage workers, minimum wage…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Harmful Effects of a Minimum Wage Increase

Healthcare

Washington isn’t Interested in Fixing Medicaid

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 4, 2014

“We have been legitimately working very hard with them and frankly, I’m very disappointed with the turn in discussions in the last week,” said Governor Corbett (paywall) on the federal…

Media

Read More: Washington isn’t Interested in Fixing Medicaid

State Budget

Almost $2 Billion in Welfare Waste Weeded Out

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • March 3, 2014

Lottery winners on welfare, millionaires on food stamps and supervisors that turn a blind eye to fraud; these are the stories that drive Pennsylvanians crazy. But the…

Media

Read More: Almost $2 Billion in Welfare Waste Weeded Out

Healthcare

Liberal Group Screams “Murder” over Medicaid Expansion

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 14, 2014

This week, John Micek called out Keystone Progress on his Pennlive.com blog for what he termed a “disgusting” email that “has no place in our discourse.” What provoked this…

Media

Read More: Liberal Group Screams “Murder” over Medicaid Expansion

Welfare

Protection for the Poor a First Step

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 21, 2014

It’s too easy to steal from low-income Pennsylvanians and taxpayers according to Senators Scarnati and Argall. The lawmakers say it’s time to increase fraud penalties to make stealing over $1000…

Media

Read More: Protection for the Poor a First Step

Welfare

War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failing People

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 8, 2014

On January 8, 1964, Lyndon Johnson launched America’s “War on Poverty.” After 50 years, it’s clear poverty is winning. After five decades and more than $20 trillion in taxpayer…

Media

Read More: War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failing People

Welfare

Protect the Poor, Not Lotto Winners

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 20, 2013

Jamie Frankford won $330,000 in the Pennsylvania lottery in 2012, yet continued to collect child care subsidies and Medicaid benefits. Her story, reported by Chris Papst at CBS21, caught…

Media

Read More: Protect the Poor, Not Lotto Winners

Government Accountability

TV Report: Waste & Fraud in Public Welfare

  • November 6, 2013

In a scathing investigative report, Chris Papst at CBS 21 revealed a widespread culture in Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW)—and orders from supervisors—to look past fraudulent claims to enroll…

Media

Read More: TV Report: Waste & Fraud in Public Welfare

Healthcare

“Free” Medicaid Money Equals More Debt

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • October 31, 2013

In trying to persuade states to expand Medicaid, Obamacare advocates are using enough scare tactics to fill a haunted house. From threatening to discontinue Gross Receipt taxes to…

Media

Read More: “Free” Medicaid Money Equals More Debt