Congress is expected to debate and vote on health care legislation after their summer recess. 3 dozens health care leaders and advocates from Western Pennsylvania gathered this morning at Medrad’s headquarters in Marshall Township to discuss what that measure should include. Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire’s Health Care Advisory Board includes doctors, nurses, hospital officials, insurers, pharmacists, long-term care providers and advocates. Altmire says he wanted to hear from people who represent different points of view and who will be impacted differently by the legislation that is passed. Altmire says they have to find ways to bring down costs while paying for coverage for the uninsured. He says much of this cost of extending coverage can come from savings in the insurance and pharmaceutical
Altmire says he does not support taxing the health care benefits that people receive from their employers.
Ted Zimmer of the Consumer Health Coalition of Pittsburgh says the legislation needs to deal with several segments of uninsured Americans including workers with no coverage. He says they are willing to contribute to their coverage but their current options are not affordable. Zimmer says many workers would be interested in a subsidized public option.
Representative Altmire says Congress has been talking about health care system changes for 60 years, but this time will approve legislation because it’s too important not to do it.