Rapp, House Health Committee Move Welfare Reforms Forward
HARRISBURG – As part of an ongoing effort to help contain costs and bring about real reform to Pennsylvania’s welfare system, PA House Health Committee Chairman Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) convened a voting meeting on Tuesday to advance two pieces of legislation which would give more Pennsylvania families an opportunity to improve their quality of life, while tackling waste, fraud and abuse from within the current system.

“With expenditures for public health and welfare accounting for nearly 39 percent of our state budget, I wholeheartedly support each of these bills for their potential to reduce major cost drivers and further ensure that tax dollars spent on human services reach only those Pennsylvanians who truly need them,” said Rapp. “It is time for the General Assembly to make it clear that public assistance is meant to be a temporary bridge from poverty to independence and self-sufficiency, not a way of life. The major challenge is to separate those who are truly in need and eligible for state assistance from those who are not and are taking advantage of taxpayers.”

Specific welfare reform legislation advanced to the full House for consideration include:

House Bill 1618, which would require that any welfare assistance not used within six months to be forfeited back to the government.

House Bill 2138, which would require the PA Department of Human Services to apply for a federal waiver (under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act) to institute work or community engagement requirements for certain able-bodied Medical Assistance recipients. The work requirements include being employed or attending a job training program for 20 or more hours a week or completing 12 job training program-related activities in a month.

Exemptions built into House Bill 2138 are as follows: enrollees attending high school full time; enrollees receiving temporary or long-term disability benefits; residents who are under 20 years or those age 65 and older; pregnant women; enrollees who receive SSI; individuals residing in a mental health or correctional institution; enrollees experiencing a crisis, serious medical condition or temporary condition which prohibits employment, such as domestic violence or a substance abuse disorder; and those persons who are permanently disabled or acting as a primary caregiver to a dependent under 6 years of age.

Visit RepRapp.com or Facebook.com/RepRapp for the latest legislative updates.

Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp

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