Pashinski, House Democratic Policy Committee explore affordable health care

WILKES-BARRE, April 4 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at King’s College to discuss affordable health care for Pennsylvanians.

Pashinski requested the meeting to gain insight from state officials and policy experts on the current costs of health care and how to make it more affordable to meet the needs of all Pennsylvanians. Members of the Policy Committee from across the state attended, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“Between the year 2000 and 2009, health care costs rose on average 6.9 percent yearly,” Pashinski said. “Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, costs still rose an average of 4.2 percent yearly. The ACA helped the continually rising cost of health care, but it didn’t help enough. We continue to be the only industrialized nation that doesn’t offer some form of universal health care, while at the same time paying nearly double in health care costs compared to those nations and we still have nearly one-third of Americans with zero or inadequate health insurance.”

Sturla added: “I thank Representative Pashinski for inviting the Policy Committee to his legislative district, so we could get local input on various health care issues. House Democrats’ Plan4PA strives to achieve affordable health care for everyone while putting people first.”

“To truly solve this problem, I believe Congress needs to put together a task force of experts from all of the health care industries, including doctors, nurses, insurance agents, pharmacists, hospital executives and patients and conduct a forensic audit to see what is working and what isn’t,” Pashinski said. “If we don’t do something to control the cost of health care, we’ll never get this situation under control and Americans will continue to go without affordable, accessible coverage.”

Testifiers included: Cor Catena, CEO, Commonwealth Health and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital; Leesa Allen, executive deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Alison Beam, chief of staff, Pennsylvania Department of Insurance; Ashley Weale, RN, emergency room nurse, Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals; and Marc Stier, director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Today’s hearing materials will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee. Additional information on House Democrats’ Plan4PA is available at planforpa.pahouse.com.