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Governor Rendell Says 'Cover the Uninsured Week' is Perfect Time for Action on Program to Provide Access to Health Care for Uninsured
Date:4/25/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell said national "Cover the Uninsured Week" is the perfect time for the Senate to consider Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care (PA ABC), which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month and would provide access to affordable health care to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians.

"Cover the Uninsured Week" is April 27 to May 3.

"Every day we hear from Pennsylvanians who are desperate for health care coverage and are begging for action on PA ABC that would offer affordable health insurance to the uninsured," said Governor Rendell. "Many people are living a nightmare; they are worried about becoming too ill to work to provide for their families; and they are worried about economic ruin and the personal agony of dealing with an illness that they can't afford to battle.

"I think, sometimes, it is difficult for those with good health insurance to put themselves in the shoes of these hardworking men and women and to understand their stress. That's why I was encouraged when the House passed PA ABC. It is time for the Senate to step up and make insurance a reality for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.

"Nearly 767,000 Pennsylvania adults lack health insurance and, with recent economic trends, that number could grow," Governor Rendell said "This not only affects personal health but the continued crisis places increased burdens on governments, businesses and consumers. The time to act is now."

In January 2007, Governor Rendell rolled out his Prescription for Pennsylvania, a comprehensive health care reform initiative that included Cover all Pennsylvanians, or CAP. CAP would have offered access to affordable health insurance through the private insurance market to the uninsured.

Earlier this month, the House, with bi-partisan support, passed a CAP-like program called Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care. The Governor said that while PA ABC does not cover as many people as CAP would have covered, it is an important step in the right direction and offers many improvements to his proposal. In addition to providing access to health care to the uninsured and low-wage small businesses without insurance, PA ABC provides grants to low-wage small businesses that already offer their employees health insurance and need help coping with the escalating costs.

"'Cover the Uninsured Week' is the perfect time to call attention to the struggle hardworking individuals and small businesses face without access to the affordable health care they want and need," the Governor said. "With action by the Senate, Pennsylvania can be a national leader in health care and make history."

During "Cover the Uninsured Week," the Governor and members of his cabinet and staff will be traveling across the state to talk with individuals, business leaders, health care providers and citizens about the need to ensure that every Pennsylvanian has access to quality affordable health care.

In addition to encouraging support for expanding access to health insurance to uninsured adults, Governor Rendell reminds Pennsylvanians that health insurance is available to every uninsured child and teenager through "Cover All Kids" and Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

CHIP offers affordable, comprehensive health coverage to any uninsured child and teen not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. It offers coverage for services including doctor visits, prescription drugs, dental and eye care, as well as, immunizations, hospitalization and emergency care.

CHIP premiums are affordable because they are based on household income. There is no cost for families who qualify for free CHIP.

More information on CHIP can be found by calling 1-800-986-KIDS or by visiting http://www.chipcoverspakids.com.

Information on the Governor's health care reform plan can be found at http://www.rxforpa.com. Information on PA ABC can be found on the House Democrats' Web site.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit http://www.governor.state.pa.us.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A table listing uninsured adults by county is attached.

County Total Number of Uninsured Adults % Uninsured Per Capita

Adults (19-64) (19-64) Adults Uninsured

Ranking

Tioga 21,718 7,721 35.6% 1

Forest 2,453 663 27.0% 2

Warren 23,570 5,325 22.6% 3

Crawford 47,142 8,814 18.7% 4

Philadelphia 801,005 138,950 17.3% 5

Susquehanna 23,637 4,025 17.0% 6

Jefferson 24,719 4,139 16.7% 7

Mercer 60,945 10,039 16.5% 8

Perry 25,502 4,107 16.1% 9

Allegheny 691,148 108,835 15.7% 10

Fulton 8,097 1,247 15.4% 11

Northampton 144,705 22,024 15.2% 12

Fayette 79,771 11,833 14.8% 13

Juniata 12,619 1,841 14.6% 14

Cambria 78,905 11,295 14.3% 15

Franklin 73,484 10,433 14.2% 16

Beaver 97,544 13,734 14.1% 17

Clinton 19,667 2,764 14.1% 18

Union 17,604 2,444 13.9% 19

Carbon 32,756 4,514 13.8% 20

Blair 71,345 9,817 13.8% 21

Clearfield 45,291 6,121 13.5% 22

Bradford 34,808 4,690 13.5% 23

Potter 9,914 1,329 13.4% 24

Indiana 47,655 6,376 13.4% 25

Pike 27,841 3,714 13.3% 26

Armstrong 39,746 5,247 13.2% 27

Monroe 80,140 10,470 13.1% 28

Adams 50,377 6,472 12.8% 29

Columbia 34,180 4,374 12.8% 30

Greene 21,088 2,637 12.5% 31

Wayne 25,630 3,167 12.4% 32

Snyder 19,654 2,419 12.3% 33

Lycoming 63,632 7,636 12.0% 34

Bedford 28,079 3,327 11.8% 35

Lawrence 48,799 5,773 11.8% 36

Somerset 42,632 4,877 11.4% 37

Huntingdon 22,793 2,525 11.1% 38

Clarion 22,088 2,423 11.0% 39

Sullivan 3,265 352 10.8% 40

Elk 18,968 2,041 10.8% 41

Lebanon 67,269 7,231 10.7% 42

Centre 78,077 8,307 10.6% 43

Mifflin 25,293 2,672 10.6% 44

Luzerne 167,360 17,661 10.6% 45

Montour 9,242 973 10.5% 46

York 220,348 23,055 10.5% 47

Lackawanna 111,204 11,420 10.3% 48

Schuylkill 80,497 8,252 10.3% 49

Chester 256,697 25,790 10.0% 50

Northumberland 50,062 4,503 9.0% 51

Berks 202,903 17,959 8.9% 52

Dauphin 144,668 12,505 8.6% 53

Lehigh 174,011 14,597 8.4% 54

Washington 108,298 8,996 8.3% 55

Delaware 296,273 23,815 8.0% 56

Erie 143,340 10,340 7.2% 57

Venango 31,531 2,186 6.9% 58

Cumberland 118,845 8,022 6.8% 59

Wyoming 15,727 1,054 6.7% 60

Cameron 2,832 185 6.5% 61

McKean 23,161 1,500 6.5% 62

Montgomery 431,148 23,060 5.3% 63

Bucks 355,408 17,655 5.0% 64

Westmoreland 204,916 9,682 4.7% 65

Lancaster 256,182 11,278 4.4% 66

Butler 99,531 3,408 3.4% 67

* Figures derived from the 2004 Health Insurance Survey conducted by

Market Decisions LLC for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

http://www.ins.state.pa.us

CONTACT: Amy Kelchner (GOHCR) 717-346-8379


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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