We all know someone who is dealing with a challenge in their lives. Job loss, illness, injury…any of these circumstances can happen to anyone at any time, and it is human nature to want to lift people up and get them back on their feet. 

That’s why government has long offered a safety net to people in need of help. Whether the need is long-term due to a disability, or short-term, due to an illness, our state and federal governments provide billions of dollars each year to ensure support is available to our citizens for as long as it is needed. 

But the key word here is “needed.” As taxpayers who foot the hefty bill for human services programs, we are willing to help those who need it. But we also expect people who are able to work and contribute to these costs to do so. Unfortunately, that is not a requirement right now in our Commonwealth. 

I am sponsoring legislation that would allow Pennsylvania to apply to the federal government for a waiver to require work or community engagement for able-bodied recipients of Medical Assistance. This is aimed at insuring government funds – which are your tax dollars and not unlimited – are available to those who truly need it. 

This legislation will not apply to the disabled, elderly or pregnant residents. It is targeted to able-bodied people to promote better mental, physical, emotional health and aid to individuals and families. The goal is one we all share: to help them rise up out of poverty and achieve independence from government aid. 

People who can work, should work. Our hard-working taxpayers deserve to know that funds are going to those who truly need it.