UPDATE: Bipartisan Health Care Initiative Passes House

Ciresi-co-sponsored legislation would create a state-run health insurance exchange and reinsurance program in Pennsylvania

UPDATE: House Bill 3 overwhelmingly passed the House yesterday. I’m proud of the good bipartisan work that went into this bill, which would preserve access to healthcare and save insurance customers money.

Ciresi Backs Bipartisan Health Care Reform Initiative

Over 400,000 Pennsylvanians receive affordable health insurance through the federal marketplace known as Healthcare.gov. I am proud to co-sponsor and support House Bill 3, which would allow Pennsylvania to set up its own state health insurance exchange, as 12 other states have already done. Why?

Our state is paying the federal government $88 million annually to run our insurance exchange for us. However, it could be run more efficiently “in-house” at a cost of $30-$35 million per year, keeping that money right here in Pennsylvania. The savings from this switch would then be redirected toward lowering premiums by 5 to 10 percent. This reduction in premiums is possible by establishing a reinsurance program to help pay for high-cost claims that drive up the overall price of insurance for everyone.

Not only can we save Pennsylvanians money, but by running our exchange ourselves, we can make sure that its customer assistance and outreach is tailored to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians.

Also, NO new taxes or money from the General Fund would be required. It’s a win for our residents’ health and our budget.

The legislation, introduced jointly by the House Democratic and Republican leaders, has been approved unanimously by the House Insurance Committee, and I look forward to voting for it in the House chamber.

Joe Ciresi