Wagner Wants To Put Pennsylvanians To Work, Wolf Wants To Keep Them On Welfare

Governor Wolf yesterday again expressed his commitment to confining more people to government assistance, as he voiced his opposition to House Bill 2138. The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives in a bipartisan fashion, would incentivize able bodied Pennsylvanians to seek employment by imposing a 20 hour a week work requirement on their Medicaid coverage.

Wolf, who has already vetoed similar legislation, said through a spokesman, “Pennsylvania House Republicans are continuing their efforts to gut Medicaid and kick people off their health insurance.” (TribLive, 4/17/18)

2018 gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner responded in disbelief, noting that pushing Pennsylvanians into the workforce will give them better healthcare coverage and will be essential to solving our skilled labor crisis.

“The best long-term approach to increase access to healthcare in the Commonwealth is to lift people out of poverty and have them retain it from their employers – and that will only happen if people are incentivized to work,” said Wagner. “Through my own company, I’ve seen first-hand the need for skilled labor and the opportunities that could be provided, but matching those who want to work with willing employers will only happen if we have a Governor who will lead on the issue. While Governor Wolf continues to block this legislation, I will sign it if it comes to my desk next winter. If I’m elected, Pennsylvanians will have a pro-work, pro-jobs, pro-growth Governor, four more years of Tom Wolf will give us the opposite.”

Its opposition to Medicaid work requirements is just the latest example of how the Wolf Administration believes that Pennsylvania is better off with more people on government assistance. In a budget hearing last month Wagner questioned DHS Secretary Teresa Miller, and got her to admit that the Commonwealth is better off with more people on the federal SNAP program for budgetary reasons.

Watch the full exchange HERE.


TERESA MILLER: I would argue we want everyone that can possibly be on SNAP to be on SNAP. It’s a 100 percent federally funded benefit and we know that individuals who are on SNAP have better health outcomes and spend less in terms of healthcare dollars. So because our state budget, we spend a lot of money on healthcare for some of these same individuals, I think the more we can do to address social determinants of health, like food and security, the better off we are going to be from a state budget perspective because we are going to be spending less dollars on healthcare.

SCOTT WAGNER:.. Obviously my number one agenda item would be to have people gainfully employed and have better improving lives.