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Governor Rendell Tells Congress 'Prescription for Pennsylvania' Will Improve Health Care Climate for Small Businesses
Date:2/26/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today told U.S. lawmakers that small businesses struggle under a health care system that fosters spiraling costs, uneven and inadequate quality and little or no coverage for millions of Americans - and states cannot afford to wait for Congress to act.

Speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, the Governor said he firmly believes the health care crisis is a national problem. However, in the absence of a federal solution, governors have been forced to develop their own plans. In Pennsylvania, that plan is called Prescription for Pennsylvania.

"Health care costs are projected to almost double by 2014 and paying for insurance will become unsustainable for state governments, our employers and our residents," Governor Rendell said. "Our small businesses will be especially hard hit and their workers represent the overwhelming majority of the uninsured in Pennsylvania. Small employers, employers with a majority of low-wage employees, and employers with older employees are less likely to be able to afford health care coverage for their employees."

The Governor said he was troubled by a November 2007 report from the Economic Policy Institute, which showed that from 2000 to 2007, Pennsylvania had the second-highest loss of employer-based health care coverage for people under 65 years old. In 2007, there were 491,392 fewer Pennsylvanians being covered through their employer than in 2000.

"The growth and volatility in the premium costs in Pennsylvania for small employers is a driving factor and primary reason for this erosion in Pennsylvania," Governor Rendell said. "Employer-based coverage is still the most prominent way Pennsylvanians receive health care, so it is critical that we try to stem this erosion of coverage as quickly as possible."

Governor Rendell's Prescription for Pennsylvania health care reform plan exp
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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