In an effort to win back public opinion after trying to cut $1 billion from public colleges and universities, Republicans decided to redirect their budget cuts to the people who have the least political voice – the poor.
The plan approved by the House last month would slash $471 million from Corbett’s proposed budget for the Department of Public Welfare. Legislators vow to trim welfare “waste, fraud and abuse.” They say it’s necessary after the loss of $1.7 billion in federal stimulus funds to DPW.
The proposed welfare cuts have been all but overlooked amid the outcry over school aid. But advocates for the poor say the House GOP proposal, which includes $280 million in Medicaid cuts, will hurt citizens who depend on state help for survival.
The cuts would amount to ending Medicaid coverage for 100,000 Pennsylvanians, says Sharon Ward, executive director of the liberal-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.