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Progress on State Budget

July 27, 2017

Earlier today, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed several bills intended to implement the General Fund Appropriations Act for FY 2017–2018 (House Bill 218), which specifies appropriations for this year’s state budget.

Generally, the package of bills advanced by the Senate would not result in any negative impact on hospital payments during FY 2017–2018. 

The following legislation was passed by the Senate with the provisions noted below.

House Bill 59 (Human Services Code)

  • Removes provisions requiring a premium on disabled children and their families who receive Medical Assistance and have an annual income that exceeds 1000 percent of the federal poverty level
  • Removes enrollment language intended to prevent Medicaid enrollees from moving between health plans
  • Requires the Department of Human Services to request a waiver to allow the commonwealth to pursue a work or work search requirement on nondisabled, nonpregnant, nonelderly Medicaid eligible adults
  • Allows the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council to collect financial data from ambulatory surgical centers, but does not impose an assessment on these facilities
  • Keeps the requirement that the Department of Human Services issue a request for proposals for a one-year pilot program designed to implement coordinated care in a managed care organization in one region of the commonwealth

House Bill 542 (Tax Code)

  • Securitizes the Tobacco Settlement Fund  at a level of $1.225 billion, down from $1.5 billion

House Bill 453 (Fiscal Code)

  • Ensures that 2017-2018 Tobacco Settlement Fund payments will be made as expected

House Bill 118 (Administrative Code)

  • Excludes any unification of the departments of Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Health and Human Services into a single agency
  • Transfers $200 million from the surplus of the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriters Association to the commonwealth’s General Fund

While it remains unclear when the House will take up the bills passed by the Senate this morning, HAP will continue to monitor legislative work on all four code vehicles.

For additional information or questions please contact Scott Bishop, HAP’s senior vice president, legislative advocacy, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.
 

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