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Governor Rendell Says Passage of PA ABC Would Help More Than 36,000 Uninsured Citizens Living in the Lehigh Valley
Date:5/1/2008

ALLENTOWN, Pa., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell said today that there are more than 36,000 uninsured adults in Lehigh and Northampton counties -- nearly 5,000 of whom are on a waiting list to receive health care coverage -- who urgently need the state Senate to approve a plan to help them gain access to health insurance.

"Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvania adults live with the very real fear that a sudden illness could lead to unnecessary suffering and even bankruptcy," the Governor said. "In addition, for the businesses and individuals struggling to make ends meet while continuing to pay hefty insurance premiums, continued lack of action in adopting a program to cover the uninsured means ever-increasing health care costs."

The Governor was in Allentown to participate in Sacred Heart Hospital's "Cover the Uninsured Day," which was part of "National Cover the Uninsured Week." He joined Allentown Mayor Ed Pawloski and Sacred Heart Hospital CEO Frank Sparandero, MD, in discussing the plight of the uninsured and calling for passage of Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care (PA ABC), a health care plan that would be offered through the private market and subsidized by state and federal government for small, low-wage businesses without insurance and uninsured individuals.

The Governor said a recent study that showed a decrease in the total number of employers providing health insurance in Pennsylvania is especially troublesome. Between 2000 and 2006, more workers in Pennsylvania lost employer-provided health insurance than workers in any other state, except California.

"Public opinion polls show increasing anxiety about the current health system, as more employers shed coverage benefits and premium costs outpace inflation each year," Governor Rendell said. "If the remaining key components of the Prescription for Pennsylvania are not enacted, especially ABC and the insurance reforms, even more w
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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