WHEREAS, in 2002, the adultBasic program was created to provide health care for lower income Pennsylvanians who did not receive health insurance from their employers and earned too much money to qualify for Medicaid and were too young to receive Medicare; and
WHEREAS, adultBasic, which covered major surgery but not dental costs or prescriptions, was so popular that by late 2010, it covered 42,625 Pennsylvanians and had a waiting list exceeding 400,000; and
WHEREAS, Governor Rendell expanded adultBasic by negotiating voluntary payments from Blue Cross insurers but the Corbett Administration ended adultBasic because the insurers withdrew their support and it was decided that the program was too expensive; and
WHEREAS, and in concert with this decision, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 46 of 2010 and Act of 2011 which allowed funding from the Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act to be diverted from adultBasic; and
WHEREAS, Attorneys William Caroselli and David Senoff filed a lawsuit on behalf of 100 former adultBasic recipients based on the argument that the new legislation violated the Tobacco Settlement Act and the Pennsylvania Constitution and that money from the tobacco settlement was to be “used to make Pennsylvanians healthier and provide for the health of future generations of Pennsylvanians”, with the Act specifying that 30 percent of the proceeds would be shared between adultBasic and Medicaid for workers with disabilities; and,
WHEREAS, in a March 4th majority opinion by President Judge Dan Pellegrini, theCommonwealth Court struck down the legislation that redirected tobacco settlement funds from adultBasic as unconstitutional and ruled that the Corbett Administration, beginning with the 2013-14 fiscal year, must allocate 30 percent of the settlement funds to adultBasic or a similar program, as well as to the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby urges Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to use tobacco settlement funds to re-start the adultBasic program for uninsured Pennsylvanians;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in the event adultBasic is not re-started, that the tobacco settlement funds should be used to start a similar program in concert with the Commonweath’s expansion of Medicaid.