Morning Must Read: A No to Expanding Medicaid Will Leave Many in PA Out in the Cold

Pennsylvania is not the only state undecided about whether to expand Medicaid health coverage to low-income working families. As The Washington Post reports

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the expansion, and 14 are planning to decline. But 16 [including Pennsylvania] remain in limbo as lawmakers clash in the final days and weeks of the legislative calendar, when many must come to a decision in time for the provision to kick in next year.

We have blogged (here and here) in recent weeks about reports showing how an expansion of Medicaid will benefit Pennsylvania residents both from an economic and public health standpoint.

One aspect of the debate that has not gotten as much attention is that an expanded Medicaid is the only option for many low-income working Pennsylvanians.

Not What the Doctor Ordered on Pensions

I wanted to share my op-ed in today's Philadelphia Inquirer examining the added costs and other problems in Governor Corbett's public pension proposal:

In public policy, as in medicine, a guiding principle should be "first, do no harm." In other words, don't make the problem worse.

Unfortunately, Gov. Corbett's plan to radically restructure Pennsylvania's public pension system does serious harm to taxpayers, driving up the public cost of retirement benefits for years to come. It harms Pennsylvania's teachers, nurses, emergency responders, and other public servants by undermining their retirement benefits without saving a dime. And it harms efforts by Pennsylvania schools and other public employers to attract and retain high-quality employees.

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Update, House Budget Bill Coming, Expanding Medicaid and More

This week at Third and State, we updated you on the latest Pennsylvania jobs numbers, asked whether a House budget bill to be introduced on May 28 will include new cuts, explained how a loophole bill does not get the job done, highlighted an editorial raising concerns about the Governor's pension proposal, and shared resources from a webinar on expanding Medicaid coverage in Pennsylvania.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price has an update on the Pennsylvania jobs report released Friday.
  • On state budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged that as Pennsylvania House leaders plan to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill, some in Harrisburg are looking at a delay in the phaseout of the capital stock and franchise tax to help close a budget gap. Michael Wood blogged that a recently-passed House bill to close corporate tax loopholes would fall far short of its goal and aggravate the state’s financial problems.
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Chris Lilienthal blogged about an Associated Press story highlighting just how much Pennsylvania is giving up over time by enacting a very low Marcellus Shale impact fee.
  • On public pensions, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial raising concerns about Governor Corbett's pension plan.
  • Finally, we shared a video of a webinar hosted by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on making the Medicaid expansion a reality in Pennsylvania.

IN OTHER NEWS:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, May 28 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar on education funding in Pennsylvania. Learn more and register to participate.
  • Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Thursday, June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.

Good News on PA Jobs But Challenges Remain

Pennsylvania got some good news Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the state’s unemployment rate fell three-tenths of one percentage point to 7.6% in April. It is the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania since March of last year — although it is still slightly higher than the U.S. unemployment rate.

Unemployment in PA and US

Will There Be New Cuts in PA House Budget Bill?

Pennsylvania House leaders plan to introduce a 2013-14 budget bill on May 28, with a vote to follow the week of June 10.

Must Read: Inquirer Takes on Governor's Pension Plan

Posted in:

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an editorial today raising many of the same concerns about Governor Tom Corbett's pension proposal as we have at the Keystone Research Center.

Webinar: Making Medicaid Expansion a Reality in PA

Eight and counting, that’s the number of Republican governors who have determined that opting into the expansion of Medicaid health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is good for their state’s citizens and economy.

In a webinar this week hosted by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, health care experts looked at the nuts and bolts of the Medicaid expansion and what is being done to make it happen in Pennsylvania. You can watch the webinar below.

Loophole Bill Does Not Get the Job Done

A recent proposal to close corporate tax loopholes that drain millions of dollars annually from Pennsylvania schools, colleges, and other vital services would fall far short of its goal and aggravate our state’s financial problems.

Morning Must Read: PA's Low Tax Rate on Shale Drilling

The Associated Press has a good story highlighting just how much Pennsylvania is giving up over time by enacting a Marcellus Shale impact fee that assesses one of the lowest tax rates on natural gas drilling among the nation's major energy-producing states.

Third and State This Week: A Missed Opportunity, Unpaid Internships, Expanding Medicaid and Mother's Day

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a missed opportunity in the House to close corporate tax loopholes, the troubling trend of employers taking on unpaid interns to do work once performed by paid staff, the public health benefits of expanding Medicaid coverage, more on Pennsylvania's job growth ranking, and a Mother's Day look at the number of Pennsylvania moms who benefit from key federal tax credits that may be at risk.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward shared her statement on the passage of a House bill enacting hundreds of millions in new corporate tax cuts. The bill represented a missed opportunity to close tax loopholes, Sharon wrote. We also posted our live Twitter coverage of the House floor debate on that bill.
  • On higher education and the economy, Jamar Thrasher blogged about the troubling trend of employers recruiting unpaid interns to perform duties that were once performed by paid staff.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote that expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania will make Pennsylvanians healthier and more financially stable — and even save lives.
  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg delved a little deeper into Pennsylvania's job growth performance in light of recent remarks by the Governor.
  • And with Mother's Day this weekend, Sharon Ward blogged about the hundreds of thousands of working moms in Pennsylvania who rely on the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits to make ends meet. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

  • Join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on Tuesday, May 14 from 4 to 5 p.m. for a webinar on making the Medicaid expansion a reality in Pennsylvania. Learn more and register to participate.
  • Join the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on June 13 for our Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Harrisburg. Learn more and purchase tickets.
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