DeLissio introduces single-payer health care bill in Harrisburg

H.B. 2824 would create the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., today introduced legislation calling for a single payer health care system in Pennsylvania.

Her H.B. 2824 would create the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan, a single-payer plan to provide universal health coverage.

“Health care is a right and not a privilege, and I support a system that ensures that citizens are not going financially bankrupt to stay healthy.

“My legislation sets out a blueprint of bold steps that will result in healthier communities at a lower cost with no co-pays, deductibles or premiums, or concerns about networks,” DeLissio said.

DeLissio’s legislation would provide for a system in which a Pennsylvania Health Care Agency would administer a plan that ensures the cost-effective delivery of covered services that range from catastrophic care to wellness and preventative care. This system would preserve the private practice of medicine and the right of patients to choose their health care providers.

DeLissio said that the benefits of single-payer coverage include: the ability for employees to seek other employment regardless of health coverage and the elimination of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

She also noted that she has heard concerns about health care from all parts of the age spectrum – from younger constituents who face challenges when changing employers or starting a new job, and from older constituents who are grateful when they are finally eligible for the stability of Medicare.

“Using the health care system should not require an advanced degree or any degree to access care,” DeLissio said. “A healthy population literally pays dividends. If 32 other industrialized nations could make this a reality for their citizens, then we can too.”

Single payer legislation has been introduced six times in the PA House since 2005, and DeLissio has personally introduced this legislation two times previously. DeLissio said that she recognizes that this reintroduction is symbolic and hopes it will highlight the fact that health care access must be equitable, affordable and available regardless of employment status.