Welfare officials say the drop-off is due to a massive effort to weed welfare recipients out of the system whose paperwork is out of date. However, the Philadelphia Daily News reported 23,180 children have had to be reinstated due to being wrongfully kicked off the program.
Children such as 2-year-old Samad Muhammad, who suffers from a congenital heart disorder, were kicked off without notice. The state welfare office claims Muhammad's mother never filed for renewal, but Kheli Muhammad claims she never received any paperwork.
"It is written in stone that he's covered," she said of her son, who qualifies because he is pacemaker dependent. "I didn't even get the notice that he would be canceled."
Amid the scandal, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal for next year includes a $629 million slash to social services alongside tax breaks for businesses. Corbett claims the massive drop in Medicaid coverage is due simply to caseworkers enforcing the law.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes, a Democrat, accused Corbett of waging a "war on poor folk."
"There's a reduction in revenues, and the wealthiest folk in the commonwealth get tax breaks and poorest folk get jammed, and jammed needlessly," Hughes said.