Jun. 03, 2024

PUNXSUTAWNEY—Last week, Rep. Brian Smith (R- Jefferson/Indiana) and the House Republican Policy Committee, led by Chairman Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), convened the second in a series of hearings to discuss ways to safeguard Pennsylvania’s social benefit programs from fraud, waste, and abuse, and to ensure the state’s resources are efficiently allocated and accessible to those who truly require assistance.

The hearing, “Excellence in Government: Preserving Benefit Integrity” featured testifiers Sam Adolphsen, policy director, Foundation for Government Accountability, and Roy Lenardson, state government affairs director, Foundation for Government Accountability. The testifiers provided insight into the fraud taking place in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid, SNAP and unemployment insurance programs, and emphasized that program benefit integrity starts with holding government accountable.

According to the testifiers, Pennsylvania is experiencing welfare disparity. Currently, 43% of Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid are able-bodied adults. Meanwhile, there are 14,000 Pennsylvanians truly in need on the Medicaid waiting list.

“By hosting this hearing, I am committed to finding out how we as legislators can give a hand up, not a handout, and how we can reduce the waste in welfare,” said Smith. “My plan is to go back to Harrisburg and share the commonsense counsel given by the testifiers -- deter fraud and waste, protect resources for the truly needy, and secure peace of mind for taxpayers.”

“We need to be smart with taxpayer dollars, ensuring those who need government benefits get them. For those who do not need to be receiving benefits, they have great, unrealized value. Let’s engage them and find out what we need to do to get them back to our workforce and contributing to our economy,” said Kail.

To watch the complete hearing and the previous hearing from May 29, visit pagoppolicy.com/video/policy.

The next hearing will be held on June 5 in Harrisburg.

Representative Brian Smith
66th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jake Gillespie