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Governor Rendell Says Funds Are Within Reach to Cover the Uninsured, Continue Mcare Abatement Program
Date:12/4/2007

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today said Pennsylvania must provide access to health care coverage for 767,000 uninsured adults and that it can be done while still ensuring that physicians, especially high-risk specialists, are able to affordably practice in the state. The Governor said he believes Pennsylvania can accomplish both by using surpluses in the Health Care Provider Retention Account.

"Since I announced Cover All Pennsylvanians - or CAP - nearly 11 months ago, I have heard only one criticism: that the CAP funding plan included a Fair Share Assessment (FSA) to help cover the costs," Governor Rendell said. "So I am pleased to announce today that by using available surpluses in the state Health Care Provider Retention Act and combining them with the other CAP funding sources that I previously proposed, we can provide affordable health care coverage for the thousands of hard-working people who lack regular access to comprehensive health care.

"Best of all, we can do this while continuing to provide state-funded abatements that help physicians, especially specialists, and midwives afford their medical malpractice premiums, which keeps health care providers practicing in Pennsylvania so our residents can continue to have access to health care."

Created as part of the Governor's 2003 medical malpractice reforms, the Health Care Provider Retention Account is a restricted state account that is funded with a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax. Health Care Provider Retention Account funds have been used to keep the state's Mcare program solvent despite the loss of income resulting from the Mcare abatement program, which either cuts in half or eliminates (depending on specialty) the assessments levied on physicians and certified nurse midwives to support the Mcare program.

The abatement program was created by the Governor to provide eligible doctors, midwives, podiatrists and nursin
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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