Grove Announces Welfare Reform Package to Help Taxpayers
HARRISBURG – During a Tax Freedom Day rally, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) announced he will introduce this legislative session two bills in an effort to save taxpayers money while growing the economy.
“Today is the most appropriate time to unveil these two pieces of legislation. Tax Freedom Day, which will be celebrated on April 23 this year, marks the first day of the year in which taxpayers have made enough money to pay their taxes,” Grove said. “These bills would help move the day up in the year through cost savings to taxpayers while ensuring the high standard of services they expect will continue.”
One proposed bill would place reforms, which historically had bipartisan support, on Medicaid in the state. These reforms, which include work requirements and a lifetime limit of five years for Medicaid eligibility, drawn from former President Bill Clinton’s successful Welfare to Work program.
“The intention of these provisions, as passed in 1996, is to further incentivize current enrollees who are able to work to find employment,” Grove said. “Other states have readopted these measures and saved taxpayers millions of dollars and we must re-enact these reforms in Pennsylvania.”
The second proposed bill Grove announced today would create an Independent Medicaid Director in the Commonwealth. As it works now, the administration can raise Medicaid costs without input from the Legislature. This bill would move that authority to an independent director, who would be held accountable for spending by the General Assembly. The Independent Medicaid Director, while working within the Department of Human Services, would serve at the pleasure of Pennsylvanians and oversee all Medicaid expenditures. This resembles the independent roles for both the Independent Fiscal Office and the Office of Open Records.
In order to keep the Medicaid Program within budget, the director would be empowered as the sole individual who may amend the state’s Medicaid plan. Any amendment under the draft must improve individual health care in a manner which reduces the cost of the program to taxpayers.
“Currently, the Department of Human Services’ $11.9 billion budget is about $220 million over budget. That is unacceptable,” Grove said. “These two bills would slow the cost curve and start reducing it so we can hand money back to the individuals who are footing these costs, which will get Pennsylvanians back to work.”
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross