Showing posts from June, 2017

PA Budget Nearly Complete

They're still dotting the eyes and crossing the t's, but it looks like we will have a PA budget that is close to on time. After a Senate vote earlier, the House must also approve the budget legislation before it heads to Governor Wolf. The Governor has indicated he will sign the bill, but probably not until early next week when other pieces of the budget are ready for his signature too.

Below is our chart on the final budget proposal. Most (but not all) of the programs we track received flat or increased funding.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Cuts

In a preliminary budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year budget, the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee revealed that it would be cutting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program by 50%. In 2017 fiscal year, the VITA program received $15 million but has been reduced to only $7.5 million in 2018.

The VITA program offers crucial tax preparation services to low and moderate working individual and families in some of the lowest income areas across the state. All of these services are completely volunteer based and require funding in the budget in order to continue assisting families in become financially stable.

The good news is that there is still time for this decision to be reversed. Since this is only a preliminary budget proposal, nothing is definite yet and there is still a chance for you to call your legislators and let them know that you believe funding should be given to the VITA program. There is a period of time between the action currently being …

Lead Paint Hazard Control Program

The Lead Paint Hazard Control Program has recently been started by the Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC) to help families with children under the age of five who are at risk from dangerous lead paint in their homes. If you have, or think you might have, lead-based paint in your home, the CAADC can spend up to $10,000 to fix the hazard.

To qualify for CAADC action, you must be a homeowner (not a renter) living in Delaware County but not Upper Darby, Chester, or Haverford. Income guidelines apply - however new income limits were recently released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and are slightly higher than they were last year.

More in depth information regarding the program can be found below in a brochure issued by the Community Action Agency of Delaware County.

Click here to download a pre-survey to see if you are eligible for the Lead Paint Hazard Control Program. After completing the pre-survey, click here to download and print an application. Com…

What To Know About the Senate Health Care Bill

**UPDATE**  - The Congressional Budget Office released its scoring of the bill, showing that 22 million more people would become uninsured under the program.

On June 23rd, Senate Republicans revealed their plan for a new Health Care bill that will act as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). With information on the bill now available to the public, it is important to check to see how your coverage will be affected by the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and how the new bill compares to the Affordable Care Act.

Below, a table has been attached to show how coverage for different groups was affected by the Affordable Care Act and how things will change should the AHCA be passed through Congress.

Information used in the table regarding the AHCA was found at, click here for more detailed information.
Make sure to have your voice be heard by reaching out to your Senators and telling them how you feel they should vote on the upcoming bill. Call senators toll free at 8…

It's an Emergency.

Every time my soon-to-be 3 year old son hears sirens - police, fire, ambulance - he starts yelling "Emergency! It's an emergency!"

And if you're not saying the same thing about the Senate healthcare bill, you probably should be.

After negotiating for over a month behind the scenes, the Senate healthcare bill is ready to see the light of day. And, despite saying that the House healthcare bill was "dead on arrival" in the Senate, they've done a pretty good job of resuscitating it. (See a chart from NPR here comparing the ACA, the AHCA, and the new Better Care Reconciliation Act.)

Medicaid: Medicaid is the largest government health program in the country. It covers about half of all births in the US, and provides insurance to nearly 40% of all children. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), states could choose to expand Medicaid to more low-income families.

The House version of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) would roll back that expansion a…