By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Corbett administration's push to expand the current block-grant pilot program to fund county social services will have a chilling effect on those receiving mental-health, intellectual-disability and substance-use services.
Expansion of the pilot program reflects a “ready, fire, aim” mentality. A real pilot program would include an independent and well-planned methodology for evaluating whether it was successful. This has not happened. Despite the program being in place for only a matter of months, the administration wants to expand it from 20 to as many as 40 or 50 counties. Where are the outcomes of the current pilot?
This urgency to expand this unproven program reveals the true nature of the block grants — to cut funding. The governor's original block-grant proposal was contingent on a 20-percent funding cut, later reduced to 10 percent by the General Assembly.
Affording counties flexibility can only stretch a dollar so far. Programs will be cut, by definition, and people will be hurt. Only the loudest and those with political sway will survive, while those without a voice will see services disappear.
The goals of flexibility and better integration of programs and services are laudable, but without a considered plan of action that utilizes the input of all stakeholders, there is no assurance that the block grants will meet these goals. It is not possible to determine success with no data and a few months of practice.
The writer is executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Community Providers Association (paproviders.org).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Knives vs. guns II
- Resurrection? Yes, really
- Bloomberg & coal
- Knives vs. guns I
- Tragedy sensationalized
- Resurrection is real
- Deer Lakes drilling OK
- Don’t trash Medicare
- Consequences in space
- Tragedy’s ramifications II
- Sign on to save Springdale