The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on October 23, 2014, agreed to hear our appeal in a pair of Right-to-Know Law cases related to how the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) uses taxpayer dollars to provide dental care to people on Medicaid.
The Supreme Court’s decision to take our case is an important development for case law related to our state’s relatively new Right-to-Know Law. The Supreme Court has issued only six decisions ever under the new law, which has been in effect since 2009.
The scale of what’s being concealed is astonishing: Medicaid provides medical and dental care to 1 in 6 Pennsylvanians, and it accounts for some 30% of the Commonwealth’s General Fund budget. These numbers will only grow next year, when the recently approved Healthy Pennsylvania program will make over 500,000 Pennsylvanians newly eligible for Medicaid.
In March of 2014, we filed allocatur petitions asking the Supreme Court to hear this case, and we are thrilled that our requests have been granted. The Supreme Court will now review whether or not financial transactions funneled from a public entity to a private contractor can be hidden from the public eye under the guise of constituting “trade secrets.” We believe that this type of financial information about how taxpayer dollars are spent should be out in the open for public scrutiny.