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Gov. Ed Rendell Plan Would Widen Health Insurance

Gov. Ed Rendell will announce a health care reform plan in January next year that could make health insurance// available to millions of Pennsylvanians who lack coverage. Governor added that the plan also would target medical costs, hospital infections etc.

The plan, which was under development for months, will be the latest health care initiatives that have been supported by Mr. Rendell.

Moreover, Mr. Rendell wants to develop similar program for children, known as Cover All Kids, which would cover health insurance for children from low-income families. Mr. Rendell has suggested that health care costs could be lowered in part by reducing the expensive, even life-threatening infections that patients acquire in hospitals.

He added that parts of his proposal would require legislative or regulatory approval and also predicted that it would provoke objections from health care interest groups. Major health groups have had little comment so far, saying they are awaiting details.

Dozens of health care experts, business representatives, consumer advocates and others provided input by serving on four committees that focused on cost containment, quality, public-funded health care and issues related to small employers.

Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation said that improving health care coverage has been a growing priority for governors in many states.

The state study found that about 133,000 children lacked coverage, but 23,000 were eligible for coverage through CHIP or Medicaid. Cover All Kids provided an option for children not covered under other programs.

While applauding those efforts, Jessica Seabury, executive director of the Consumer Health Coalition, said that more outreach is needed to enroll young people through Cover All Kids.


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