Judge Orders Pa. To Restore Health Insurance Funding For Low-Income Residents

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Corbett administration is reviewing a court ruling that overturns Pennsylvania state laws that redirected tobacco settlement funds away from a now-defunct program that provided health insurance for low-income Pennsylvania residents.

Supporters of the former AdultBasic program are declaring victory, but a Corbett administration spokesman says the ruling is still being reviewed for its legal and policy implications.

A Commonwealth Court judge declared unconstitutional two state laws passed in 2010 and 2011 that siphoned tobacco settlement money from the program.

But the judge did not order the reinstatement of AdultBasic insurance coverage.

Rather, he directs that in the upcoming fiscal year the Commonwealth allocate “30 percent of tobacco settlement funds, if any, to a health investment insurance plan (AdultBasic or another similar plan)” as well as to Medicaid for disabled workers –- “unless there are contrary statutory enactments appropriating the funds otherwise.”

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