Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Budget for 2007-08: Issues and Analysis

  • February 05, 2008
  • By Sharon Ward, BA, MS, Judith R. Lave, and Ph.D

The Pennsylvania Medicaid program, called Medical Assistance, is the Commonwealth's health care safety net. It provides access to primary, preventive, emergency and long-term care services for lowincome families with children, the elderly, individuals with disabilities and adults with chronic illness. Medicaid is a federal entitlement program; individuals who meet income, asset and other eligibility requirements are qualified to enroll in Medicaid and receive health care services.ii Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states according to a federal formula that is adjusted annually.iii Medical Assistance is managed by Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare (DPW).

This report will examine Pennsylvania's Medical Assistance budget for state FY08, which was approved July 17, 2007. It begins by presenting some background information to set the stage for the FY08 budget deliberations. It then discusses budget and policy initiatives proposed by Governor Rendell in February 2007 as well as the disposition of those initiatives. Finally, it will look ahead to explore budget and policy initiatives likely to be proposed for FY09.