Friday, February 8, 2013

Corbett's Budget Address Epilogue

Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company

The dust has settled from the Governor's budget address.  He has announced a 4% increase in spending on the frozen $27 billion of the last two years with no tax increases.  This is to be paid for with an increase in the gas tax (a tax that unfairly burdens lower income drivers or a regressive tax) and privatization of the state liquor system and lottery.  The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has reached a tentative agreement with the faculty union.  The site Raging Chicken Press has good coverage of these issues.  These things may seem like a concession to some as he is up for reelection next year.

As many expected, he announced that he will not participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act which would cover about 700,000 of the states estimated 1,250,000 uninsured (12.1% of the population).  There are many posts covering this topic on the PUSH blog.  As can be seen in the map above, this decision aligns Pennsylvania with Idaho, South Dakota, Maine and seven of the Confederate States, many of which have the worst uninsured problems such as Texas with 26.3% uninsured.  Right wing governors such as Arizona's Jan Brewer and Ohio's John Kasich were persuaded to accept the expansion because refusing to do so would cost hospitals a lot of money.

Next Tuesday, there will be a pro Medicaid rally on the State Capitol steps in Harrisburg to try to persuade the legislature to change the governor's course.  Information can be seen here.  There are other upcoming rallies in Harrisburg on other issues for which I do not have information. If you are unhappy with Gov. Corbett it is important to make your voice heard.  


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