DeLissio: The time is now for H.B. 1688 -- The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan

PHILADELPHIA, July 28 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., hosted over 60 citizens for her 66th Town Hall on Wednesday to discuss the concepts behind DeLissio’s legislation, H.B.1688, the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan, a Medicare for all-style single-payer plan.


She said the discussion was interactive and informative, as one participant later posted, "I am at a Town Hall meeting on single-payer; first great point; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness all depend on health and therefore healthcare is a right and not a privilege."


“H.B. 1688, to be re-introduced shortly, is NOT government run health care,” DeLissio said. “Health care providers and health care facilities would remain in the private sector. State government would be responsible for establishing a system in which a single, public or quasi-public agency organizes the health care financing to support health care access. Cost controls (including administrative costs, pharmaceutical costs etc.), and citizens having sufficient ‘skin in the game’ are critical components of this plan.”


The discussion included questions pertaining to health care, such as: What do citizens want? What are citizens willing to pay for? How should it be structured?


There are currently 32 countries on the list of industrialized nations that have universal health coverage. Norway adopted this type of coverage in 1912 and Israel offered universal health coverage as recently as 1995.


In the U.S. Congress, H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act” has been introduced during every Congressional session since 2003.


In Pennsylvania, legislation has been introduced each session since 2005.


Throughout the U.S., single-payer type of legislation has been introduced in 20 states.


“It was clear from the discussion that citizens appreciate many of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and would like to see many of those aspects continue under any revision or new plan, including covering pre-existing conditions, the ability for a dependent to stay on a parent’s plan until 26 years of age and enforcing no lifetime caps,” DeLissio said.


Other coverage that constituents wanted included dental, vision and hearing coverage, as well as strong wellness and preventive care.


“Over the remainder of this session, I look forward to working with advocates and my colleagues to ensure that this legislation benefits all Pennsylvanians and is financially viable," DeLissio said. “Many other countries have successfully implemented this type of coverage. It was President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision to implement such coverage in the United States. Hopefully the time is now and we can begin right here in Pennsylvania.”


The PowerPoint of the presentation from DeLissio's Town Hall can be found at