April 22, 2015 |
New Jersey lawmakers on Monday scrutinized the state's handling of thousands of low-income residents' Medicaid applications, as the Christie administration asserted it had made progress in reducing the backlog. Gov. Christie expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and 400,000 residents have gained health insurance through the government program since 2014. However, thousands of applications have languished at understaffed county welfare agencies, in part because of the state's antiquated computer systems.
April 15, 2015 |
More than 30,000 inquiries sent to Philadelphia's Veterans Affairs benefits office were left to languish, on average for almost a year, according to an internal investigation. That finding was one of several outlined in a searing report released Wednesday by the VA's Inspector General. During their 10-month probe, investigators also confirmed data manipulation, poor working conditions and shoddy-record keeping. "We substantiated serious issues involving mismanagement and distrust of [office]
February 17, 2015 |
Villanova University law professor Michele Pistone sensed the growing problem in the nation's asylum system even before new data released this month presented a stark picture of the backlog. "For 15 years, I could count on getting appointments for [asylum] interviews" promptly at the regional office in Newark, N.J., she said. "Students could start a [client's] case and have it adjudicated by the end of the semester. "This year, for the first time, that's not happening," she said, and appointments her students requested in September still have no interview dates.
December 30, 2014 |
Since New Jersey expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, its efforts to enroll thousands of low-income residents have been hampered by low staffing and antiquated technology. Gov. Christie championed the expansion, and, indeed, 300,000 New Jersey adults have enrolled in Medicaid, the federal program for the poor and disabled, since President Obama's health-care law took effect in October 2013. Many gained coverage directly through online state and federal portals. Yet an estimated 11,000 others, whom experts describe as some of the state's most vulnerable citizens, have received no response to their applications.
December 10, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA has a problem with too many unwanted and overgrown trees, which could prove hazardous to people, a City Council committee was told yesterday. Due to budget constraints, there is a backlog of 3,161 tree-removal requests and a backlog of 9,796 requests for tree pruning, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis said during an information hearing convened by Council's Committee on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. "The facts are, we are behind," said DiBerardinis, who laid the blame on the department's inadequate budget.
August 26, 2014 |
In May, police in Falls Township, Bucks County, pulled over Corey Sean Mcgrogan after getting a call about an intoxicated driver on West Trenton Avenue. Officers searched Mcgrogan's jeep and allegedly found a crack pipe, a syringe with suspected heroin residue, and 20 pills of what appeared to be Xanax, the prescription anxiety medication. Mcgrogan, 35, was charged with misdemeanor counts of drug possession and paraphernalia as well as careless driving. Three months later, he's still waiting for a district judge to review his case and decide if it should go to trial.
August 8, 2014 |
It's been nearly two years since the new Phoenixville Area Middle School opened its doors with an oversize auditorium featuring state-of-the-art acoustics; high-tech "Smart Boards" in front of every classroom; a large courtyard; and an impressive library. The $56 million Chester County public school is missing only one thing: money that Harrisburg promised to help defray the cost. "We show it as a receivable in the belief that at some point we will get what we are owed by the state," said Stan Johnson, Phoenixville Area School District executive director of operations.
May 30, 2014 |
A PLAN INTRODUCED in the U.S. Senate in March offers solutions to the backlog problem plaguing Veterans Administration hospitals, Sen. Bob Casey said yesterday. At a news conference at 30th Street Station, Casey discussed a three-step initiative in his proposed 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, more than a month after VA hospitals were found to have long wait times, falsified wait lists and extreme backlogs. Casey said that the national wait time to file a claim is 244 days, while the average in Philadelphia is 295 days.
February 20, 2014 |
Across a brightly lit room, three dozen immigrants sit shoulder-to-shoulder on three pew-like benches. Many look scared. Some murmur in Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Haitian Creole. There is no bailiff; none but the judge to maintain order, call the cases, and render judgments, DIY-style. Lawyers waiting for clients' cases to be called pile up outside the four small courtrooms in the cramped corridor that one translator calls the "Hall of Anxiety. " With a backlog of 4,901 cases, Philadelphia's Immigration Court, housed on the fifth floor of a federal building in Center City, is chronically overburdened and thinly staffed, and reflects the workload crisis afflicting the nation's 57 other immigration courts.
November 12, 2013
TODAY is the Veterans Day holiday. But if today is typical in all other respects, 22 American veterans will commit suicide. That brutal reality - 22 veteran suicides a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs - is driven not just by what our vets are asked to withstand on the battlefield, but by our treatment of them once they come home. In fact, Veterans Day seems increasingly to have become the day we take stock of our failing of our veterans, rather than a day to honor them.