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Governor Rendell Directs Insurance Commissioner to Delay Mcare Abatement Collection
Date:12/24/2007

from a 10-cent increase in the cigarette tax and a tax on other tobacco products.

Because Mcare payouts are now 50 percent lower than they were five years ago, there is a significant and growing surplus of funds in the special state account supported by the dedicated 25-cents a pack cigarette tax. Earlier this month, I proposed using a portion of this surplus to fund CAP. There are sufficient funds in the account to continue the Mcare abatement program for the next 10 years and provide significant funding for CAP. That is why I support using the available funds for both purposes -- extension of the Mcare abatement and funding for CAP.

Using the surplus and new tobacco taxes to continue your abatement and provide health insurance for those without it is the right thing to do. And using the dollars in the state's 25-cent a pack dedicated cigarette tax fund to support the Mcare abatement and affordable health care coverage for the uninsured is completely consistent with the original intention of the fund. The fund was established to support health-care related expenditures. Therefore it is entirely appropriate that we use the resources in this fund to make a 10-year commitment to the Mcare abatement and help pay to cover the uninsured.

This is a sustainable plan. Using very conservative assumptions, it is clear that this funding plan provides enough money to provide affordable health care coverage to the uninsured and still leaves enough money to provide you 10 years of predictable relief for your malpractice premiums.

I believe that you understand better than anyone the problems caused when people are uninsured. I also believe that you share my goal of wanting Pennsylvania to implement a workable, realistic plan to provide affordable health coverage for everyone.

With a bipartisan partnership in Harrisburg, we were able to pass the Mcare abatement in 2003. I believe if we work together, we can succeed in reinstating the ab
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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