The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 5, 2013

Pa. court directs tobacco money to health care


HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania state officials are trying to figure out the implications of a judge’s ruling that a portion of the state’s unspent tobacco settlement money go to the defunct adultBasic health insurance program for lower-income adults or a similar plan.

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini on Tuesday ruled unconstitutional two state laws that siphoned the money from adultBasic and Medicaid for disabled workers.

Pellegrini is throwing out laws passed in 2010 and 2011 that diverted tobacco settlement funds.

Pellegrini is denying a request by those who sued that adultBasic be reinstated and that $200 million be reimbursed to the funds from the two prior years.

The judge notes that Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration says the required portion of the tobacco money is all going to Medicaid. The decision says it must also go to adultBasic or a similar program


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