A press release by PRNewswire.com on 2/5/2013 covered a recent report by AARP Pennsylvania. According to the report, Governor Corbett's budget for the next year is proposed to both help and hurt the elderly population of PA.
This budget for 2013-2014 is increasing the lottery-funded programs for seniors by $50M. These programs benefit both home and community-based programs that offer alternatives for seniors who are living at home as opposed to in a nursing home. However, that same money is also being used to fill in the gaps left by the state Medicaid budget. Governor Corbett proposes shifting $309M from lottery earnings to the Medicaid budget. If this budget passes, it will result in over $1.3B in lottery earnings over the last 6 years to the state Medicaid program.
Although more money is being shifted to Medicaid, AARP is concerned that the Governor's budget does not suggest expanding Medicaid eligibility as recommended by the Affordable Care Act, which would allow over 500,000 insured Pennsylvanians to become insured by 2022 at no cost to the state for the first several years. AARP is also concerned about the pension reform that may affect older Pennsylvanians nearing retirement age.