Pa. sued over elimination of adultBasic health care program

A Pittsburgh law firm today filed a class action lawsuit against Gov. Corbett and the legislature over the elimination of the state-supported health insurance program for the working poor.

Attorneys representing the lead plaintiffs - individuals lost their adultBasic insurance on Feb. 28 - said the state violated both the constitution and state law failing to use tobacco settlement money to continue to fund the program as stipulated under the 2001 Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act.

“Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania legislature are in blatant violation of the law and the only way to hold them accountable is to take them to court,” said attorney William Caroselli, of Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan and Conboy, who filed the suit on behalf of three lead plaintiffs in Commonwealth Court. “Pennsylvania receives significant payments from the tobacco settlements every year, and state law mandates that those proceeds go toward making Pennsylvanians healthier, and that a portion be specifically directed to fund adultBasic. 

More than 42,000 people lost adultBasic medical coverage on Feb. 28 when the Corbett administration said the fund that supported the program was bankrupt.

The fund is expected to be replenished on Apr. 15 when the state receives its $370 million payments from tobacco companies.

The Pennsylvania Tobacco Settlement Act provides that the tobacco settlement monies would be “used to make Pennsylvanians healthier and provide for the health of future generations of Pennsylvanians,” and specifically that 30% of the proceeds would be shared between adultBasic Insurance and Medicaid for workers with disabilities.



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