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.

Taxes & Economy

Self-Worth, not Stuff, Should be Welfare’s Goal

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 24, 2015

In the movies, values like hope, joy, and peace ultimately triumph over materialism. Unfortunately, government has yet to grasp that stuff alone doesn’t bring lasting happiness…

Commentary

Read More: Self-Worth, not Stuff, Should be Welfare’s Goal

Health Care

Celebrating Crummy Care

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 15, 2015

Midnight is the enrollment deadline for the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who want to remained insured through healthcare.gov. To no one's surprise, the rush to enroll has led to another…

Media

Read More: Celebrating Crummy Care

State Budget

Harrisburg is Ignoring the Biggest Budget Buster

  • July 17, 2015

Pop quiz: What’s the largest spending increase in Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal? You might assume education, as the governor has repeatedly insisted the state must reinvest in public schools.

Commentary

Read More: Harrisburg is Ignoring the Biggest Budget Buster

State Budget

Welfare, not Education, is Wolf’s Biggest Budget Buster

  • May 27, 2015

Commonwealth Foundation Contact: John Bouder | 717-671-1901 Welfare, not Education, is Wolf’sBiggest Budget Buster Study: Slowing Welfare Spending Growth Will Ease Budget Pressure May 27, 2015, HARRISBURG,…

Press Release

Read More: Welfare, not Education, is Wolf’s Biggest Budget Buster

Health Care

Out of Control

  • May 27, 2015

Governor Wolf is facing a budget situation more serious than any of his predecessors. His proposal includes an additional $691 million in the General Fund for DHS, bringing the department’s…

Report

Read More: Out of Control

Health Care

State-Run Health Exchanges: A Terrible Track Record

  • James Paul
  • May 14, 2015

Governor Wolf is taking a big risk. His administration is preparing a Pennsylvania-operated Obamacare exchange if exchange subsidies from the federal exchange, or healthcare.gov, are ruled illegal by the…

Media

Read More: State-Run Health Exchanges: A Terrible Track Record

Taxes & Economy

Reforming the Welfare Benefits Cliff

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • May 14, 2015

Imagine you’re a single mom earning $47,000 a year (or $22.59 an hour) working full-time as an assistant manager at large department store. Your boss pulls you aside with great…

Media

Read More: Reforming the Welfare Benefits Cliff

Health Care

Unlike Medicaid, Charity Clinics Lead to Independence

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 29, 2015

This week marks the beginning of Pennsylvania’s transition from Healthy PA to full Medicaid expansion. Over 100,000 beneficiaries were transferred to the traditional one-size-fits-all healthcare plan known for limited…

Media

Read More: Unlike Medicaid, Charity Clinics Lead to Independence

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

Health Care

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

Health Care

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

Health Care

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

Health Care

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

Health Care

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?

Health Care

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?

Health Care

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