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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

orking Pennsylvanians are likely to lose coverage.

"A story in the New York Times just this week said a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in the last year, 42 percent of Americans said they or a family member postponed or skipped treatment, did not fill a prescription, cut pills in half or skipped doses, or had problems getting mental health care because they had difficulties affording health care," the Governor said. "That statistic is stunning."

As the cost of health care has soared 75 percent over the past five years, and wages have only risen 13 percent, thousands of Pennsylvanians are struggling to provide health insurance coverage for their families. According to an Insurance Department study, there are 767,000 uninsured adults in Pennsylvania. Some 70 percent of the uninsured cite cost as the main reason for not having health insurance coverage. Bringing down the cost of coverage would help individuals and small businesses who desperately need coverage.

"The vast majority of Pennsylvania's uninsured adults have full-time jobs and many are employed by small businesses. Most workers earn low wages and do not have access to health insurance because of the high cost of premiums for businesses and individuals. The Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care program is an essential step towards solving these problems," said Governor Rendell.

The Governor said 71 percent of uninsured adults in Pennsylvania are employed, 76 percent of uninsured adults have household incomes of less than $60,000 for a family of four and 27 percent of uninsured adults have been without health care coverage for more than five years.

Families USA released a study that estimates that approximately 710 working-age Pennsylvanians died as a result of lacking health care in 2006, which is nearly two people every day. Nationally, the lack of health insurance was responsible for twice as many deaths as homicide in 2006.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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