Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Two state lawmakers say if Congress won't consider a federal single-payer health insurance system, they'll push for one in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have derided a single-payer health care system as too extreme, but two measures in Harrisburg would create universal coverage in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh was one of several speakers yesterday’s health care rally in the Capitol rotunda in Harrisburg. He says his bill, which faces an uphill climb in the Senate, would fill a need the federal government refuses to address. He says, “We need to have the healthcare system reorganized in Pennsylvania, and our bill would set up a single-payer financing system that would provide comprehensive universal health care, cradle-to-grave coverage, and it would be financed with reasonable progressive taxation on the part of the employer, as well as the individual.” That tax system would include a three-percent levy on individuals and a 10% payroll tax on Pennsylvania companies. Philadelphia Democrat Kathy Manderino sponsored the House version of the bill, and says she'll push for a study comparing the cost of a single-payer system to the current health insurance structure.