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State Health Secretary Visits City of Chester for 'Cover the Uninsured' Week
Date:5/1/2008

In Delaware County, nearly 24,000 adults under the age of 64 are uninsured

CHESTER, Pa., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If the Senate approves Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care, Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson today said tens of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvania citizens would have greatly needed access to affordable health insurance.

"'Cover the Uninsured Week' is the perfect time to talk about reforming health care in Pennsylvania," said Dr. Johnson, who attended a public meeting at Chester City Hall as part of "Cover the Uninsured Week," which runs through May 3. "Nearly 767,000 adult Pennsylvanians lack health insurance coverage, and that means they are not receiving basic medical care.

"Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care is a crucial first step to improve access, quality, and affordability of health care for all of our citizens."

During "Cover the Uninsured Week," Governor Edward G. Rendell and members of his cabinet and staff are visiting communities across the state to talk with groups -- ranging from business and community leaders to health care advocates -- to involve the public in the discussion and to encourage the Senate to pass this critical legislation.

According to a study by the Insurance Department, the majority of uninsured adults in Pennsylvania are employed and most of the uninsured workers hold full-time jobs.

In Delaware County, there are 23,815 uninsured adults, which is 8 percent of the county's adult population. Each year, government, businesses, and consumers pay an estimated $1.4 billion to help cover the costs of treating Pennsylvanians who are uninsured and underinsured.

In January 2007, Governor Rendell rolled out his Prescription for Pennsylvania, a comprehensive health care reform initiative that included Cover All Pennsylvanians, or CAP. CAP would have offered access to affordable health insurance through the private insurance market to the uninsured. <
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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