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Insurance Commissioner Says Federal Health Care Reform Necessary to Fix a Broken System
Date:9/8/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing the 300,000 Pennsylvanians on the state's waiting list for subsidized health insurance coverage, state Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario today urged the U.S. Congress to enact a set of core health insurance reforms that will give Pennsylvania and other states tools needed to fix the deep-seated problems with the current health care system.

"Lost in the din of the recent town hall meetings was the fact that many Pennsylvanians are losing coverage and a much larger number face unfair limitations on coverage and spiraling costs," said Ario. "Governor Rendell has been outspoken in saying that the health care system is broken and, as his Insurance Commissioner, I want to emphasize that there are some common sense solutions that offer a way out of the current morass, where peripheral issues get more play than the consensus reforms that are embedded in every major reform bill now pending.

"Three essential reforms enjoyed bipartisan support as Congress developed legislation last spring. First, end pre-existing condition exclusions and other discrimination based on health status, so that everyone can access coverage. Second, require everyone to purchase health insurance, so that insurance works like it is supposed to work in spreading costs across large risk pools. Third, provide reasonable subsidies so that coverage is affordable for everyone.

"These three reforms build on each other to create a fair and efficient system," Ario added. "We cannot cover everyone if insurance companies are free to exclude people with health problems. But it is not practical to require insurance companies to cover everyone if people can jump in and out of coverage as they need it. And it is not fair to require low-income citizens to buy coverage if they can not afford it.

Each of the bills before Congress include
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
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