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Welfare programs make up about 40 percent of the state budget. While it’s unclear how much money is being saved by the cuts locally, some of those cuts already affect children receiving services from county agencies in Berks.  Since August, Welfare Department auditors have removed 5,121 Berks County residents, children and adults, from Medical Assistance, also known as Medicaid.  That’s a 6.5 percent decrease from 78,757 Berks residents in August to 73,636 at the end of December. Medical Assistance provides health care for low-income children and adults and the disabled.

Statewide, 88,071 Pennsylvanians have been knocked of the Medical Assistance rolls. The total enrollment dropped from 1,161,135 in August to 1,073,064, a decline of 7.6 percent.

The cuts are part of new Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander’s plan to reduce fraud and waste in the state’s welfare programs.  Read more.