adultBasic Funding in Court
A court in Harrisburg is hearing arguments this afternoon on a pair of lawsuits filed to return funding to the adultBasic health insurance program. The Governor cut the funding as part of his proposed budget.

Tuesday, twenty-two members of the Democratic leadership of the General Assembly filed a legal brief with the Commonwealth Court in support of the plaintiffs seeking restoration of adultBasic funding for Pennsylvania's working poor. 

Representative Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, said a 2001 state law on the use of tobacco money designated 30 percent of the proceeds for adultBasic. 

"In just a few days, the Commonwealth will get its next annual installment of money from the tobacco settlement, about $360 million for this year.  That is more than enough money to restore the adultBasic program for the 41,000 Pennsylvanians who lost their affordable cover on February 28," said DeLuca, D-Allegheny.

Representative John Myers, Democratic chairman of the House Health Committee, noted that the Governor's budget proposal includes a shift of $220 million of the next installment of the tobacco settlement to a newly created Liberty Loan Fund under the Department of Community and Economic Development. 

The Governor has said because of the state's financial problems, it's impossible to fund the program. People are being offered an alternative called Special Care, though the premiums are higher.