Bill proposes single-payer healthcare for PA

    Two state lawmakers say if Congress won’t consider a federal single-payer health insurance system, they’ll push for one in Pennsylvania.

    Two state lawmakers say if Congress won’t consider a federal single-payer health insurance system, they’ll push for one in Pennsylvania.

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    [audio:091020sdhealth.mp3]

    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.

    Allegheny County Senator Jim Ferlo, a Democrat, was one of several speakers at a recent health care rally in the Capitol rotunda.

    He says his bill, which faces an uphill climb in the Senate, would fill a need the federal government refuses to address.

    Ferlo: 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 be a three-percent levy on individuals, as well as a ten-percent 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.

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