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Governor Rendell Says Pennsylvania is One Step Closer to Providing Access to Health Care for Pennsylvania's Uninsured
Date:3/18/2008

Congratulates House for Proposing, Passing ABC Plan; Urges Senate to Act Quickly

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today praised the House of Representatives for taking an important first step in passing its Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care (PA ABC) plan, and he urged the Senate to immediately consider the proposal.

PA ABC would provide access to health care for many of Pennsylvania's uninsured while continuing to help physicians pay their medical malpractice insurance premiums. It would also eliminate the Mcare Fund, return all malpractice coverage to the private market, and pay off Mcare's unfunded liability.

"Since the time I first announced my Prescription for Pennsylvania health care reform plan in January 2007, and especially the Cover All Pennsylvanians component of that plan, I have repeatedly asked the General Assembly to talk with us about ways to make sure the uninsured in this state have access to health care," Governor Rendell said as he talked to reporters about SB 1137, which passed the House late Monday afternoon.

"I said we were willing to negotiate and would welcome ideas to improve the CAP plan I proposed. I thank the House Democrats for accepting my challenge and congratulate the House on bringing us one step closer to making sure Pennsylvanians have access to health care.

"House Democrats' CAP-like plan, Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care, doesn't cover quite as many people as CAP would have covered, but it does provide sorely needed access to care and has some excellent additions that improve our proposal."

The Governor said that in addition to offering access to care for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians through a private market insurance product, ABC provides relief to small businesses that struggle the most in providing insurance to their employees. ABC creates a new initiative that provides grants to low-wage small business
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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